Weather Forecast


East 2nd Street bids opened, but nothing settled

Poor sewers and crumbling roads are just two of the reasons the City of Morris will rebuild East 2nd Street beginning next spring. The construction work will stretch from Atlantic Avenue to beyond the Regional Fitness Center.

Riley Bros. Construction submitted the low bid for the City of Morris' East 2nd Street project, but it's possible the work could fall into the hands of the second-lowest bidder.

Bids were opened Tuesday for the infrastructure repair and replacement project, which is tentatively scheduled to begin after the University of Minnesota, Morris school year ends in mid-May.

Riley Bros. currently is prohibited from entering into contracts to work on federal, local or state projects in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The company is awaiting rulings from the federal government and the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Department of Administration about having its suspension and debarment lifted, which would allow the company to work.

Of the 11 bids submitted, Riley Bros.'s low bid is $1,356,727. The second lowest bid is from Breitbach Construction, of Elrosa, at $1,370,676.

The project engineer's estimated project cost is about $1,907,000. The highest of the bids opened was $1,950,873.

Kuechle Construction, of Kimball, which received positive reviews of its work last summer in the Highland Homes Addition, bid $1,538,000 on the East 2nd Street project.

The unsettled situation involving Riley Bros. leaves the city in a tough spot, said City Manager Blaine Hill.

It would like to be able to accept the Riley Bros.'s bid but can't until officials lift the company's suspension and debarment. But the city can't delay the project much longer if it wants to avoid having construction run into the late fall season, Hill said.

"We would have liked to have had the bids out in February," Hill said. "We expect to start right after (UMM) graduation. I don't know if that's still possible."

Hill spoke with a representative of Breitbach Construction about the possibility of the company being awarded the project if Riley Bros.'s situation isn't resolved soon.

The Morris City Council is expected to review the bids and discuss the situation at its April 27 meeting.