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Pa. company lowest bidder in Ironton-Russell Bridge project

 

A Saxonburg, Pa., company submitted the lowest sum when bids were opened Thursday in Columbus for the new Ironton–Russell Bridge.

Brayman Construction Corporation’s bid of $81,266,742 was the lowest of eight bids submitted, Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said Thursday afternoon. He attended the bid opening.

While the bid is over the state’s estimate of $76 million, Ohio Department of Transportation District 9 spokesman Kathleen Fuller said ODOT tends to accept bids that are within 10 percent of the estimate.

“The $81.2 (million) is close to that framework,” Fuller said.

Blankenship said getting one bid within the state’s price range is good news for a city that has waited years for the replacement of the 80-plus-year-old span.

“I’m thrilled,” he said.

Fuller said typically nonemergency jobs are awarded within 1-2 weeks. After that, preconstruction planning meetings usually follow and she anticipates construction will begin in early March.

“You may not see a lot of activity taking place at first,” Fuller said.

Blankenship said he was a bit concerned at the gap between Brayman’s bid and the rest of the lot. All of the other seven bids ranged between $96.5 million and $116.3 million, anywhere from 25 percent to 51 percent over the state estimate.

The problem of bids coming in over state estimate was the problem that scuppered the project in 2006 when bids came in more than 28 percent over budget.

The Ohio Department of Transportation then scrapped the original, one tower cable-stayed design for the span and went to a shorter two-tower design. But the ensuing redesign and state funding issues kept the bridge on the back burner for years.