By Anna Jauhola
Bids on upcoming county highway projects came in mostly under estimated costs.
Despite higher prices for precast concrete box culverts increasing the final bid on a project in St. Vincent Township, the Kittson County Board of Commissioners approved all the bids.
The big project to begin this year is the reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 14, which runs north and south between Karlstad and CSAH 10 east of Lake Bronson. The commissioners approved a bid from Knife River Materials in Bemidji, for both segments of the project for $1,271,241.18.
The engineer’s estimate for the project – about 10 miles of county road – was $1,358,360.50. The bid came in 6.4 percent under the estimate and would have been lower, said Keith Klegstad, assistant county engineer, but for the increased cost of precast box culverts needed for the project.
The engineer’s estimate for the portion of the project that included precast culverts was $114,805.25. The lowest bid from Knife River Materials came in 37.7 percent above that at $158,088.08.
This project will also include a municipal portion, where the county will reconstruct CSAH 14 from Highway 59 west to Tri-County School in Karlstad.
This will include replacing the storm sewer at an estimated cost of $134,330, which is usually split 78/22 between state aid and city. Klegstad said state aid will fund the storm sewer replacement entirely, saving the city of Karlstad almost $30,000.
The bid for a culvert project the county highway department will complete in St. Vincent Township also came in high above the original estimate.
The engineer’s estimate for a bridge replacement using box culverts was $78,130. Due to the sudden high cost of box culverts, the lowest bid came in 32 percent higher at $103,238. Klegstad said he visited with the powers that be and said state aid will pick up the additional cost so the township won’t have to pay a portion of the project.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved low bids for roadside mowing from River Valley Farms LLC for $54,070.98 for zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8, and from Olson Farms for $17,145.38 for zone 6. Zone 5 is covered by county crews.
• Approved permission for the county highway department to advertise for the municipal portion of CSAH 14 replacement, with a bid opening of May 4.
• Approved permission for Klegstad to request quotes for pipe culverts and calcium chloride for CSAH 2.
The commission will continue to meet each week until the COVID-19 crisis ends. They will meet remotely, but the upstairs meeting room at the courthouse in Hallock will be available for anyone who would like to observe the meeting. You will be monitored at the northwest door before entering. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, April 14 at 9 a.m.
The courthouse remains closed during the pandemic. Anyone with business can call the correct office with questions or leave correspondence in the drop box on the south side of the courthouse.
By Anna Jauhola