A decision to separate bidding for different aspects of road improvements being done this summer on the south end of Brookfield has resulted in a hefty savings, particularly on asphalt.
On July 11, the Brookfield Village Board awarded a $1,070,910 contract to Lemont-based K-Five Construction Corporation for the paving portion of the project. In June, the village board awarded contracts totaling $949,532 for sewer and concrete work related to the project.
While that’s quite a chunk of change, the total amount for the construction bids came in about $831,500 below the village engineer’s estimate of $2.85 million. The village had estimated that the paving alone for 2016’s project would cost a little more than $1.7 million.
Whether that kind of savings will be seen over the next eight years of road projects planned by the village is not clear, but officials welcomed the news.
“A $700,000 savings [on paving] is a great way to start the project,” said Village Manager Keith Sbiral at the July 11 meeting of the village board where the paving contract was awarded.
Village Engineer Derek Treichel told the Landmark in a separate interview that the village cost estimates included the entire eight years of work and, as a result, were conservative.
But the fact that the paving contractor was able to worry only about paving and not managing sewer and concrete subcontractors also contributed to the more competitive bidding. All three bids for the work came in far below the $1.7 million estimate.
“It may have made it more attractive to pavers not having to deal with subcontractors,” said Treichel, whose firm, Edwin Hancock Engineering, is managing the three separate contracts for the village.
“We would have worked with all three individually even if they were subcontractors,” he said.
Although the village was the beneficiary of low bids this year, Treichel said he wasn’t sure if the village would follow the same route when they seek bids for next year’s round of improvements, which will target the worst streets in Brookfield.
What drove the decision to separate the contracts in 2016, he said, was a wish by village officials to get work moving as soon as possible. Although the paving contract was awarded just last week, sewer work has been under way on the south end for weeks, and concrete work could start the last week of July.
It’ll be early- to mid-August before the paving contractor moves in to begin patch pavement and resurfacing streets. Treichel said the project is on schedule to be completed by the end of September.
If bids for the work continue to be competitive in future years, it could allow Brookfield to improve more streets than they’d anticipated.
In April, Brookfield voters gave the go-ahead for the village to issue $22 million in bonds, which will pay for improving a little more than 15 miles of residential streets, roughly 36 percent of the total in Brookfield.
While the bond issue was approved in April, the village hasn’t sold any bonds yet. The village tentatively is planning to sell about $9 million in bonds on July 27, according to Sbiral. The village had been waiting for its bond rating interview to take place, Sbiral told trustees last week.
Proceeds remaining in village coffers after the 2016 street project will be used for improvements in 2017 and 2018. The village will issue another round of bonds in 2018 and another in 2020.