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Super Excavators submits $14.1M bid for industrial corridor drainage project

A sign for the former Bee Bus Line stands among vacant lots on Thursday in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is building three basins in the area to control flooding in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

A sign for the former Bee Bus Line stands among vacant lots on Thursday in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is building three basins in the area to control flooding in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has received a roughly $14.1 million apparent low bid for the construction of two storm-water basins that will be part of a flood-management system meant to serve Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor.

The offer came from Menomonee Falls-based Super Excavators. If ultimately awarded the contract, the company will be responsible for excavation and grading work needed for two storm-water basins that are to help prevent flooding at a planned future manufacturing site on the city’s north side. Also part of the project are plans calling for the installation of a bio-filtration system, among other things.

The city received four bids. Coming in just below Super Excavators’ offer was a $15.5 million bid from Waukesha-based Zignego Co. In all, four companies submitted bids for the work.

The bids were opened Tuesday. Sewerage district officials plan to award the contract at a meeting scheduled for July 25.

The sites marked out for both basins lie just east of railroad tracks running through the 30th Street Industrial Corridor. Preliminary work took place there in June, including some initial excavations and rough grading.

The two basins will join a third one for which city officials opened bids in June. That basin is to be built west of the railroad tracks. Michels Corp., of Brownsville, submitted a low bid of $3.3 million for excavation and rough grading work.

Jerome Flogel, a project manager at the sewerage district, said the basins will help keep houses and industrial businesses from being flooded during and after heavy rains. Among the properties to benefit will be the Century City Business Park and the recently erected Century City 1 building.

Both the business park and the Century City 1 Building are on a former industrial site that had once been home to A.O. Smith and Tower Automotive, a manufacturing company. Most of the structures that had once stood there have since been torn down.

Century City 1 is the first new building to be put up on the 45-acre site in years. The business park is bordered largely by: West Capitol Drive to the north; sections of North 31st, West Hopkins and North 27th streets to the east; West Townsend Street to the south; and railroad tracks to the west.

With so much investment, flood protection became a priority, Flogel said.

“There’s a lot of hopes and plans of bringing jobs back into the area,” he said. “So (the storm water project) just made sense.”

The basins would help prevent flooding during what’s known as a 100-year storm, a storm in which so much rain falls within a 24-hour period that it has only a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year. The last time a 100-year storm struck Milwaukee was in July 2010. The storm dropped about seven inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Bill Graffin, MMSD spokesman, said the flooding caused about $32 million worth of damage. Most of it occurred to industrial properties, but many houses also had flooded basements and extensive water damage. Graffin added that several houses had to be demolished.

Graffin said the current basin project offers no guarantee that such widespread damage won’t recur.

“This is to help reduce the risk of flooding in that area,” he said.

The three basins being built for the 30th Street Industrial Corridor will remain dry most of the time, Flogel said. When they do take on rainwater, they will drain slowly into Lincoln Creek, which lies just northwest of the westernmost basin.

That basin is being built on a site once occupied by Bee Bus Line Inc. This basin will be able to hold up to 30 million gallons of water.

Another basin will be built north of the DRS Power and Control Technologies property near the corner of West Roosevelt Drive and North 30th Street. The company sold land to the sewerage district in order to provide a site for the basin, which will be able to hold 7.6 million gallons of water.

The final basin, being built to the east, will hold 1.7 million gallons.

About Alex Zank, alex.zank@dailyreporter.com

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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