This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Construction notes

The section of Grace Street from Front to Cullen is no more. Below is the view from Van Rensselaer looking to the south west.
 At the intersection of Van Rensselaer and Grace crushed stone was being dumped on Thursday morning. The road had no foundation and given the amount of traffic, it needed more depth.
 Once the dump truck left, a bulldozer pushed the stone into the excavation.
 A smaller paving project is underway along Lincoln Street where a walkway is being constructed. It too is in the stage of putting down crushed stone.
On Thursday morning there was a public meeting of the Technical Review Committee for the Proposed Police Department Relocation Project. Two consultants and the Police Chief made up the committee and they reviewed a lengthy document that will be made public on April 18. The project is for a design-build renovation of the old fire station into a new police station. Those who are interesting in bidding will have until May 23 to submit a proposal and bid. Another meeting of the Technical Review Committee will be held on June 1 to assess the bids and a contract will be let at the Board of Public Works on June 10.

The submission process involves a lot of paperwork. The submitters must complete two forms, one that evaluates their qualifications and another that evaluates their proposal. Each is scored. They also submit a sealed bid and this is not opened until after their proposals are scored. The low cost bid is determined by dividing the score by the bid; the winner is determined by dollars per point, though I do not think that that bid must necessarily be accepted.

The total budget will be less than one million dollars. There will be a list of items that will be required to be done in any proposal and a list of enhancements in priority order that the bidder can include. Obviously, a bid that does more will look better than a bid that does less if the prices are the same. The form that evaluates qualifications helps weed out bidders that have sketchy records on past projects. However, evaluation of qualifications is complicated because bidders can be teams and teams change from project to project. An architect can work with one contractor on one project and another contractor on another project. The scoring has a way to evaluate the fluidity of teams.

The redesigned building will have a mezzanine that will be used for storage. The mezzanine will require added foundation, so the floor of the building will have to be opened to pour that. There will also be a drive-thru bay for patrol cars and this will be separated from the office section by a fire-resistant wall. The large bay doors of the current building will be removed and replaced with walls.

Many, many details were discussed at the meeting, which I left at the two hour mark. The City has not done a design-build project so this will be a new experience for them.

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