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Bids lower than expected for Moreau sewer project

Moreau sewer

An aerial view looking south on Route 9 in Moreau as the road nears Northway Exit 17, with Route 197 intersecting at the bottom right, as seen in 2018. The sewer line will be constructed along this portion of Route 9, and officials hope the wooded areas will then be developed.

MOREAU — Every bid for the Route 9 sewer project came in below the estimate of $14.8 million, and well below the original price of $16 million approved by property owners two years ago.

“I’m very excited where these numbers came in, especially the low bid,” said town Supervisor Todd Kusnierz. “These numbers are certainly good news for the property owners in the district.”

The lowest bid is $3.2 million less than the latest cost estimate from the town. However, that estimate also includes contingency and engineering costs, which are not included in the construction bid. Still, property owners could see a substantial reduction in their costs due to the low bids, Kusnierz said.

Now, Laberge Group, the engineering company for the project, is reviewing all of the bids. They range from a low of $11.6 million from New Castle Paving of Troy, to a high of $13.3 from Bellamy Construction Co. of Scotia.

Each firm also offered to lower its price, by $500,000 to $1 million, if the town dropped the connection to Bluebird Terrace. The Town Board asked for the alternate estimate because officials have applied for a Community Development Block Grant to bring sewer to that mobile home park. If the town gets the grant, officials will exercise their option to drop that plan from the Route 9 sewer project and bid Bluebird Terrace separately.

Laberge Group must review all the bids to make sure there are no errors. Then the engineers will recommend the lowest responsible bidder to the Town Board. It’s not clear how long the review will take. The Town Board’s next meeting is next Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Zoom.

Among the things Laberge Group may need to look closely at is the cost reduction if Bluebird Terrace is removed from the project.

“There was a huge range on that,” Kusnierz said. “I don’t know why there was such a disparity.”

After the Bluebird Terrace removal, the low bidder would no longer be New Castle Paving, at a without-Bluebird total of $11.08 million. The lowest would be Jersen Construction Group of Waterford, at $11.07 million.

Once the Town Board selects a bidder, Kusnierz expects work to begin soon. By the end of the year, the force main will be installed and operational from the industrial park to Route 9, he said.

Next year, workers will finish the Route 9 portion of the project, going all the way to the Northway Exit 17 interchange.

Then they will do the internal connections in the mobile home parks. There are many connections, so that may stretch into 2023.

“Our priority is to have it flowing from Exit 17,” Kusnierz said. “Investors have spent more than $14 million purchasing there — they’ve purchased 85 acres in anticipation of sewer.”

Those investors have never said what they plan to build along Route 9, if anything. But Kusnierz hopes that those purchases bode well for the future. The goal of the sewer district is to encourage commercial development along Route 9, which has large vacant tracts of land despite being a heavily traveled road next to a highway.

By cost and (Bluebird Terrace removal), the six bidders were:

  • $11.6 million (and subtracting $520,777) from New Castle Paving of Troy
  • $12.1 million (and subtracting $1 million) from Jersen Construction Group of Waterford
  • $12.5 million (and subtracting $1.12 million) from Carver Construction Inc. of Altamont
  • $13 million (and subtracting $572,750) from Cutting Edge Group of Lake George
  • $13.2 million (and subtracting $497,945) from Kubricky Construction Corp. of Wilton
  • $13.3 million (and subtracting $523,298) from Bellamy Construction Co. of Scotia

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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