The Prairie Village City Council on Monday voted unanimously to direct the Kansas Department of Transportation to reject all bids for the proposed 75th Street improvement project from State Line to Mission Road.
The scope of the project will be modified and the project will be rebid in early 2015.
The Mid-America Regional Council selected the project to receive federal funds. KDOT administers federal funds for local communities. The 75th Street project was initiated by the city and will be coordinated through KDOT.
The project, which was developed with input from a 75th Street committee composed of citizens and council representatives, is designed to make the roadway more aesthetically appealing and improve the east gateway to the city. Included are infrastructure improvements designed to increase mobility for pedestrians and bicycles.
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The lowest bid on the project, from the Amino Brothers, was $3.9 million. The bid was significantly higher than the city’s estimate of $2.7 million, said Keith Bredehoeft, public works director.
“The low bid is about $1.2 million over what was budgeted for the construction of this project,” Bredehoeft said. “It would double the amount the city would have to pay.”
The city is scheduled to receive $1.6 million in federal funds for the project. The remaining amount would be paid by the city.
One option to deal with the higher bid, he said, would be to change priorities for the city’s 2015 budget and reallocate additional funds for the 75th Street project. That option was rejected by the majority of council members.
Councilwoman Laura Wassmer, however, favored that option.
“We’ve been talking about this for 16 years,” she said. “I’m not willing to do it half-way. I’d like to figure out a way to fund this.”
Several council members expressed disappointment at the bids and questioned why the city’s bid differed so much from those received by KDOT. Bredehoeft said KDOT would not release specific bid prices unless a bid is approved.
Modifications to the project could involve removing a proposed sidewalk on the south side of 75th Street from Canterbury to State Line Road, which would reduce project costs by about $500,000. The pedestrian corridor on the north side of 75th would still have a seven-foot-wide sidewalk.
Bredehoeft said the city’s goal would be to rebid the project and start construction by the originally scheduled March 2015 date.