E Avenue East/N. 12th Street Photo

The Oskaloosa City Council recently approved the E Avenue East and North 12th Street reconstruction project near Mahaska Health Partnership.

OSKALOOSA — The Oskaloosa City Council approved the contract for the E Avenue East and North 12th Street reconstruction process.

The company selected is Bloomers Construction Inc., which is expected to cost the city an amount not to surpass $381,212.50. In addition, the city manager has also been authorized to utilize more money equating to 10 percent ($38,000) for project contingency. This would mean that if there were any roadblocks, there would be other plans in place to compensate for any losses that might occur.

Akhilesh Pal, public works director, weighed in with his explanation of the project.

“It will substantially be completed by this calendar year. I am looking at end of October or early November,” Pal said in an interview with the Herald.

In terms of where the money is coming from, he indicated they will be using the Road Use account.

“The Road Use accounts encompass local options and sales tax,” he said.

“The scope of the project is starting from E Avenue between North 11th and North 12th and on North 12th between E Avenue and F Avenue, so it's an inverted L shape figure that we are tying to do,” Pal added.

He said that the roads that surround the hospital will see more traffic due to the construction. Pal also said that in order for some roadways in question to support more traffic, they would have to be repaved.

On Feb. 17, the city council rejected the initial low bid because of cost, which amounted to $506,193.05. That number turned out to be over 37 percent more than the engineer's assessment. From that point, the council restarted the re-bidding process. The project was thrusted forward and the restart date was anticipated for Aug. 10. The bids were publicly read on March 27. According to a city document, there were four bids that were issued once the rebidding process began. City officials came to the conclusion that the correct company to do the reconstruction work would be Blommers Construction Inc., even though the proposed bid was still slightly over the engineer's estimate.

In terms of the budget, the city is expected to reserve $419,212.50 in Fiscal Year 2016 for construction expenses toward the E Avenue East and North 12th Street reconstruction process. Also in the city document, it outlined that the budgets could be amended to reflect the bid amount.

The construction is slated to begin August 2015 and be completed by Oct. 30, 2015.

City Editor Jonathan R. Pitman can be reached by email at news2@oskyherald.com

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