Hurricane Sandy, finally dissipated after doing billions in damage to the East Coast, may still affect GIBA bridge bidding.
Five bids ranging from $17.9 million to $24.2 million were opened by the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority on Halloween.
Two days later, the GIBA Board rejected all five bids in a move made to delay the decision until bridge designs are closer to completion. The Swing Bridge designs by Hardesty & Hanover are projected to be 100 percent finished in February 2013.
GIBA Chairman David Hayes
"I'm not in a rush to make a decision on the Swing Bridge," said GIBA Chairman David Hayes. "The Swing Bridge is not in the trauma center. The South Bridge was."
Hayes was referring to the scouring problem and critically short pilings undermining the since-demolished South Bridge, which made it vulnerable to collapse. The circa-1958 Swing Bridge is in more sound condition although it has long surpassed its 50-year design life.
William Holmberg, GIBA Finance Committee chairman, cautioned that failing to accept the lowest bid in hand might mean the next round comes in higher in light of construction demand certain to follow Hurricane Sandy. Materials prices, wages and worker availability all could be less favorable to GIBA in four months, he said.
What: Special GIBA Board meeting
When: 1:30 p.m. Nov. 15
Where: Boca Grande Community Center Woman's Club Room
Why: Bridge replacement project
Who: Open to the public
What: GIBA Engineering Committee meeting
When: 9 a.m. Nov. 15
Where: GIBA admin room
Why: question inspection bidders
Who: Open to the public
"We timed this very nicely in terms of a benign business climate," Holmberg said. "Sandy has changed that."
Hayes said Hurricane Katrina had not adversely affected any of his business contracts and he did not expect Hurricane Sandy to do so either.
Rejected Swing Bridge construction bids in order of lowest to highest:
GLF Construction Corp. of Miami, $17,874,503;
Orion Marine Construction of Tampa, $18,755,840;
Superior Construction Co. of Gary, Ind., $20,069,044;
American Bridge Co. of Tampa District, $20,402,701.90; and
PCL Construction of Denver, $24,234,334.
Bid totals do not include the required $2 million contingency fund.
Hayes also said he expected GIBA negotiating to help trim the bids as it did with the two fixed bridges. Orion Marine's winning fixed bridge bid came in at $18.2 million and was finalized at $14.3 million.
If GIBA had taken the low bid of $17.9 million by GLF Construction Corp. of Miami, overall construction costs for the three bridges would have totaled $32.2 million.
The GIBA Board voted 4-0 to reject all five bids. GIBA next meets at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Woman's Club Room in the Boca Grande Community Center.