A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Phase 2: Hill Street contract awarded

Written February 24th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Trees along this portion of Southeast Hill Street have been lopped off at chest height. The street will get rebuilt this year.

More than half a mile of Hill Street in southeast Albany will be rebuilt this year, and the cost is substantially less than city engineers had feared.

On Feb. 13 the city council awarded a contract to Pacific Excavation Inc. of Eugene, whose bid of $3,054,344 was the lowest of seven. The city’s pre-bid estimate of the cost had been $4.4 million.

Hill Street south of Queen Avenue had been crumbling because of its age and the amount of traffic on the largely residential street. The stretch from Queen to 24th Avenue was reconstructed last year. Now it’s the turn of the 10 blocks from 24th all the way south to 34th.

The engineer on the project is Chris Cerklewski. His memo to the council, recommending the contract award to the low bidder, said the project calls for 2,950 feet of full street reconstruction complete with curbs, sidewalks, storm drains, street lights, and landscaping. (He didn’t mention bike lanes, but presumably they will be there just as they are on the completed section of Hill.)

Also included is the replacement of an 8-inch water main along the whole length of the project with a 24-inch iron pipe. The larger main, the memo said, will provide better service by moving “large quantities of water from the Albany-Millersburg Water Treatment Plant to all of South Albany.” Also, upsizing the line now will avoid having to cut into the new pavement later when increasing its capacity would otherwise become necessary.

Among other things, the contract provides for $72,500 in new street trees of six varieties: Japanese snowbell, pattern perfect maple, snowcloud serviceberry, Persian ironwood, gum drop tupelo, and city sprite zelkova.

As part of the city contract, the contractor will install three mailbox clusters. Other residents will get 63 new individual mailboxes at a price listed on the bid sheet of $350 each. Consider it their reward for living through having their street torn up. (hh)




2 responses to “Phase 2: Hill Street contract awarded”

  1. centrist says:

    Point of order, sir
    When an engineer packages an estimate, it is based on the best info available. There’s no emotion involved unless another injects it.
    My experience with a bid at 75% of the inhouse estimate is that the bidder intends to profit on “extras ” (things not crystal clear included in the contract. In the industrial world, the bid would have been excluded. The commercial/civil world is a whole ‘nother thing

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Point taken. Instead of “feared,” I should have said “expected.” Still, the council and the staff involved seemed elated that the contract would cost so much less than the estimate.


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