City Receives No Bids For Construction Project

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A bridge that’s been serving the community of Sioux Falls for more than 50 years is scheduled for a much-needed face-lift this year. But there’s a big issue delaying the reconstruction and city officials aren’t too happy.

The 12th Street Bridge, which is west of Grange Avenue, carries more than 25,000 vehicles a day. And it is the city’s top priority street construction project for 2015.

What was supposed to be completed by the end of this year won’t be “said and done” until 2016.

2014 was a big year for construction projects in Sioux Falls. But it’s 2015 that city officials say is supposed to be even bigger.

Last Thursday, Sioux Falls Public Work Officials eagerly awaited for bids to flood in for the first flagship project of the New Year. But to their surprise, not a single construction company submitted a bid for work on the 12th Street Bridge Replacement.

“It’s not normal,” said Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works. “Sioux Falls contractors have a lot of capacity. Their workforce is here. And we’re also a good agency to do projects with.”

Director of Public Works Mark Cotter says the design team met with interested bidders. But he says the “workload” was the biggest reason contractors didn’t submit a bid.

“It all comes down to timing and capacity,” said Cotter.

City officials say it could be another year until this multimillion dollar bridge replacement project is complete.

“The original plan was to finish it in 2015,” said Cotter. “But now we’ll split it into basically two projects.”

Cotter says the first project deals with “behind the scenes” issues.

“It’ll set up all of the access roads, it’ll relocate all of the utilities, it’ll build two large retaining walls, and it’ll install some storm sewers,” said Cotter.

He says the Pre-Bridge Project will take out the initial challenges and time frame. So once the city re-bids the project in the fall, contractors can start on it immediately.

“At the end of the day, we want to get it done right,” said Cotter. “Splitting it into two projects is not our desire. But we’ll adapt and ultimately get things done.”

Cotter says the first phase of the 12th Street Project will not affect traffic and he says the city’s design engineer has confirmed the bridge is safe for the additional time period.

Next Thursday, the city is collecting bids for their second flagship project, which is expanding Cliff Avenue from 61st Street to 85th Street. And Cotter says unlike 12th Street, he expects this project to be very competitive.

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