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Major Moorhead street renovations to begin in spring

MOORHEAD - A major street improvement project here that was delayed this summer when a contractor's bid came in too high will move forward after city leaders realized they would not find a substantially cheaper bid.

MOORHEAD – A major street improvement project here that was delayed this summer when a contractor's bid came in too high will move forward after city leaders realized they would not find a substantially cheaper bid.

The City Council on Monday voted to pay $11.2 million to contractor Sellin Brothers Inc. for work on Main Avenue, Center Avenue and Eighth Street that includes replacing traffic signals and sidewalks.

When the city sought bids for the project in May, it was expecting to pay $8.6 million for the work. But only one bid came in, at $11.5 million, from Sellin Brothers, according to City Engineer Bob Zimmerman.

The city rejected the bid and tried again. Sellin Brothers was again the sole bidder the second time, offering to do the work for $11.2 million.

"We advertised for 41 days, which is almost twice what's required," Zimmerman told council members Monday. Even so, the city got "only a single bidder with results very similar to what we received the first time."

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Council members followed city staff's recommendation to accept the bid rather than take the risk of again rebidding the project.

Council members also approved the city's purchase of land at the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Main Avenue for $1.1 million.

The city had been in negotiations with the owners of the land, where a Tesoro gas station is located, because the property would be affected by the street improvement project.

The downtown Tesoro will close, but owner Roger Richards said he plans to expand another of his gas stations.

Construction on the street improvement project will begin in the spring, City Manager Michael Redlinger said.

Related Topics: MOORHEAD
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