Second bids opened for Banner Road extension

An Oskaloosa construction firm has submitted a bid for the Banner Road extension project that the Holton City Commission believes will get the Kansas Department of Transportation’s seal of approval.

Commissioners noted during their regular meeting on Monday evening that of five construction companies throwing their hats into the ring for the second round of bidding on the project, which will take Banner Road west across U.S. Highway 75, King’s Construction was the winning bidder. The company submitted a bid of $1,150,422.17 for the project, it was reported.

KDOT had rejected an earlier bid from Bettis Asphalt of Topeka — the only bidder in the original round of bidding for the project — in the amount of $1,987,385, which Holton City Manager Bret Bauer previously noted was well above an engineer’s estimate of $1.2 million for the work. King’s bid, Bauer said on Monday, was under that estimate.

“There’s no reason now why the state wouldn’t approve it,” commissioner Erich Campbell said of King’s bid for the project, which will allow Banner to connect with the parking lot of the new Walmart currently being built at that intersection.

Bettis also submitted a bid of $1,573,706.80 for the work in the second round of bidding, commissioners noted. Other bidders included Emery Sapp and Sons Inc. of Manhattan, which bid $1,272,581.53; Amino Brothers Co. of Kansas City, which bid $1,452,475.84; and Kansas Heavy Construction L.L.C. of Tonganoxie, which bid $1,879,692.40.

Even though King’s bid was below the engineer’s estimate, Bauer reminded commissioners that KDOT will have the final say on whether the company will get the work. The city is “required to send all documentation to KDOT for them to review and approve,” he said, and city staff do not know “how long this would take KDOT to complete.”

Still, he noted, King’s Construction has worked with the city in the past “in conjunction with the wastewater treatment plant,” prompting a recommendation from Water and Sewer Superintendent Dennis Ashcraft to go with the company’s bid. Commissioner Twila White added that Jackson County officials had also worked with the company in the past.

Commissioners in February of this year approved an agreement between the city and KDOT for construction of the Banner Road extension west from U.S. 75. The project will also include addition of a turning lane along southbound U.S. 75 on the approach to the intersection and a traffic signal at the intersection.

The agreement involves the use of KDOT corridor management funds in construction of the road extension, which will allow two connections to the parking lot of the new Walmart building, with the city seeking estimates for construction, reviewing the estimates and submitting them to KDOT, which will send the city a check to pay for the costs, it was reported. It is not known whether Walmart is contributing any funds to the extension project, city officials said.

The extension project will take Banner west across U.S. 75 and run alongside, rather than into, the Walmart parking lot, in addition to providing access to owners of two adjacent properties, and dead-end at the western edge of the property where the new Walmart is being built. Once construction of the extension — which will reportedly involve 3,146 square yards of asphalt, according to bid documents — is complete, the city will take it over and maintain it as a city street.

Commissioners had originally sought bids for the extension project earlier this summer, and Bettis Asphalt was the only company to submit a bid for the project at that time, commissioners noted at their Aug. 3 meeting, where the bid was approved. Bauer later noted that representatives from Bettis were not pleased about their bid being the only one being received by the city.

King’s bid, however, found favor with the commission, and commissioner Tim Morris expressed optimism that KDOT would approve the bid.

“If they would have accepted the original bid, to me, that would have been $800,000 of taxpayers’ money that was going to be inappropriately used,” Morris said on Monday. His motion to approve King’s bid was seconded by White and approved on a 4-0 vote; commissioner Dan Brenner was absent from Monday’s meeting.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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