The failing Russell Road culverts carry Mill Creek waters in May 2010.
Bids have come in high for the City of Forks’ Russell Road culverts replacement project. The section of Russell Road has been closed to traffic for over one year due to fears the roadway would collapse due to the failure of the culverts.
The bids were opened on May 31 and presented to the City Council on Monday, June 11 showed an engineer’s estimate at $334,862. The low bidder cited on the spreadsheet was Aberdeen-based Quigg Bros., Inc. at $459,332. Delhur Industries of Port Angeles bid $584.632 and general contractor Rognlin’s Inc. from Aberdeen was $616,430.
Two bidders submitted double the estimated cost of the main precast concrete, three-sided 35-foot-long structure that will span Mill Creek, carrying Russell Road over the creek which flows downstream to the Bogachiel River. The engineer estimated the road support section cost at $70,000. Quigg had it at $146,000, Rognlin’s at $185,000 and Delhur at almost $114,000.
City Attorney/Planner Rod Fleck and Mayor Bryon Monohon discussed the high bids with the council. Fleck told the council he would contact the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) regarding funding for the higher cost estimate. A special meeting of the council is planned on the conditional award of the project once the WSDOT responds, hopefully within the next two weeks. Notice of the meeting is to be posted on the City of Forks website, www.forkswashington.org.
Fleck said the contractors bidding cited the isolated location of Forks and other climatic and logistical issues for the higher than expected bids.
Federal transportation funds, coming to the City of Forks through WSDOT, are budgeted to cover most of the cost of the project.
The bridge and culvert project is scheduled to be completed over the summer.
With the help of the office of Sen. Patty Murray $500,000 in federal funds were allocated in 2011 to the project. In addition to providing a safe road, the two four-foot diameter steel culverts planned to be installed would improve salmon access to upland stream habitat. Due to the salmon runs up the creek the process of replacing the culverts is more complicated than usual due to environmental concerns. The Northwest Salmon Coalition has assisted the city in assessing the salmon habitat conditions in the waters in and near the culverts.
A heavy rain storm in late 2010 damaged the already weakening culverts, forcing the closure of the road.