By Seth Schmidt
If all goes as expected, City of Tracy officials will open bids for the Phase 3A infrastructure project on April 11. If a bid is awarded, an order to proceed could be given to a contractor as early as May 20, with construction starting this summer.
The council had authorized the bidding earlier this winter, subject to final approval from Rural Development, the federal agency that is providing financing for the estimated $6.7 million project. That approval has now been given.. A public notice calling for bids is published inside this week’s Headlight-Herald.
Bid specifications allow contractors to work on the project over a two-year period, with “substantial completion” not required until Oct. 1, 2020. City Administrator Kris Ambuehl explained that the two-year option was added to make the Tracy project more attractive to prospective bidders, and hopefully result in lower bids.. An April bid opening, he said, is later than ideal, and could result in less attractive prices because many contractors already have work lined up for the summer. The Tracy bidding process was pushed back this winter, when the partial federal government shutdown resulted in the closure of Rural Development offices for more than a month, and delayed the agency’s review of project plans, the administrator said.
Letting contractors have until fall of 2020 to complete the Tracy project, should compensate for the late bidding, according to Ambuehl.
The order and timing of construction will be at the discretion of the contractor. However the contractor would be required to have street pavements, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks—or to have the first lift of bituminous pavement on new streets—to be in place on Nov. 1, 2019. In other words, streets could not be torn up over the winter.
The Phase 3A project will install new sanitary, storm sewer, and water mains in a roughly 15-block area, centered on Third St. between South St. and Hwy. 14.
Phase I installed new infrastructure in northeast Tracy in 2017. Phase II is considered the new sewage lagoons that are being completed northeast of Tracy. The $6.7 million Phase 3A is the first segment of roughly $21 million of infrastructure and street improvements planned over a roughly five-year period.