County selects design team for bridge repairDouglas County is laying the groundwork to replace the deck of the bridge on County Highway C over the Nemadji River.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Douglas County is laying the groundwork to replace the deck of the bridge on County Highway C over the Nemadji River.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday approved hiring Ayres Associates from among three engineering firms to provide design services for the reconstruction project.
The actual construction project could get underway late in the construction season of 2014, according to Highway Commissioner Paul Halvorson.
The goal is to have the design complete and ready in May 2014 so work can be completed to go out to bid in time for the state’s bid cycle in August for construction next year.
Experience and the ability to meet the May deadline with time to spare proved to be the deciding factor in the panel’s decision.
Supervisor Dan Corbin, who also serves as chairman in the town of Summit, said the only firm he had experience with among the three, which included SEH with offices in Duluth and Cedar Corp. of Menomonie, Wis., and the service was exemplary.
“My view is this,” said Supervisor Nick Baker. “They are all very competent, they have a lot of experience. They are all comparable. It doesn’t matter which one gets it. There has to be some little element you look for and my element is the time schedule.”
He said Ayres plans nine months while the other firms wanted a year when all the county is doing is laying a new deck on the bridge.
“We’re not restructuring the whole bridge, and to me time is real important” to get the bridge done in 2014, Baker said.
After all, while the deck was black topped and rails were replaced on the bridge, Halverson said the underside of the deck is in tough shape.
Halverson said all three proposals would complete the project on time for the bid process and construction that is expected no sooner than late 2014 based on the defined timeline of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
“With this kind of project, which is a fairly short duration project, we could still construct in late 2014,” Halverson said.
However, when committee members scored the three firms based on qualifications, Ayres Associates received the highest score based on qualifications.
Halverson said WisDOT, Douglas County and the firm will negotiate a price now that the panel has made a selection.
Ayres Associates has done the majority of the bridge projects in Douglas County including an emergency bridge project on County Highway M over the Moose River after the deck failed last year, Halverson said.
“I’m sure the other companies are very good too, said committee chairwoman Kay Johnson.