By Noelle H. Lowery
Smokehouse Bay Bridge is going back out to bid. The revised construction cost estimate has been tallied at a little more than $7.2 million, and includes a landscaping alternate and a lump sum utility cost. The bid package will be advertised on Feb. 23.
City officials are cautiously optimistic about the new process. Marco Island has spent the last six years and more than $2 million trying to repair the deteriorating spans, concrete spalls and crumbling seawalls while also designing a replacement bridge that some have dubbed “the Taj Mahal of bridges.”
The last bid process fell apart last summer when the price tag for the currently-approved suspension bridge design became a moving target — ranging between $8 million to more than $13.1 million. The four bids received by the city came in between $3.4 million to $5.1 million over original cost estimates.
Marco Island Public Works Director Tim Pinter and engineers from T.Y. Lin International have been working since August to value engineer the proposed bridge project. In September, it was reported that the team’s first stab at redesign shaved off nearly $3.6 million at no additional cost to the city.
The new bid package provides for a contingency of $650,000. Construction engineering and inspection services are estimated at approximately $800,000. However, this item will be negotiated based on the selection of a firm to provide those services. Negotiating these services will be necessary since the general services contract with TY LIN expired in February 2013.
The bid opening date will be March 27, and bids will be addressed to City Council on April 7.