Mason City council approves bid package for Destination Iowa/Bike North Iowa project

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved one of the bid packages connected to the city’s Destination Iowa/Bike North Iowa bike park project.

The bid package approved last night was for the bike park shelter, parking lot, and site work for the project. Henkel Construction of Mason City was the lowest of two bidders on the project, with their base bid being $2.84 million, and when coupled with three alternate projects dealing with the parking lot, the replacement of the well house structure and the bouldering area improvements, their final total was $3.2 million.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett says while the low bid was higher than the engineer’s estimated cost by about $500,000, he recommended they move forward with approval.  “We’ve talked a lot about bids and how important that is with the heavy amount of capital projects that we have going out to bid over this beginning of the year. Unfortunately that did come in a little bit higher than we had hoped. It wasn’t high enough to where the project couldn’t move forward, but it was higher, so we had to identify some revenues to continue to allocate towards the Destination Iowa project to make sure we’re able to complete the full scope of that.”

Burnett says he’s been mentioning it for the last year-and-a-half that the construction environment has been very concerning.  “We had to toss the bid on the Fire Department. We didn’t move forward with that project until this spring, and then we got a really competitive bid. Very happy to see that. Very happy to see the bid from Henkel, because that obviously was within striking distance. I think if it had not been for that, I don’t know if we could have moved forward on that project because, if it was just so significantly over the estimate, we would have had to look at value engineering, changing scope, things along those lines to try to bring it back in line.”

Burnett says they will keep a close eye on how the bidding process goes for several other projects coming up in the near future for the city.  “We still have the Riverwalk that’s out to bid. The Murphy Park bridge will be going out to bid. The RFP process for the actual riding part of the bike park, that’s easy to be constrained because essentially the amount of work fits the dollar amount allocated. It’s not a situation where we could go out to bid and then be surprised by the number that comes back. The companies essentially proposed what they’ll do with that amount to put in features in that space.”

The council last night also approved the contract and bond for the first phase of the Bike North Iowa project single track trails in the Riverhawk, Evans Preserve, and Marstens Trail areas. Rock Solid Trail Contracting was awarded the project back in November but they needed to adjust their coverage to meet insurance requirements prior to final contract approval being given by the council.