MINNEAPOLIS – Accepting an aggressive schedule, Minnesota Paving & Materials submitted an apparent low bid of $33.5 million Friday for a project designed to improve safety and traffic flow on a busy stretch of Interstate 494.
The bid from the Rogers-based contractor was in line with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s $34 million estimate and 5 percent lower than the submission from Shakopee-based Valley Paving, the only other bidder.
Scheduled to begin in July and wrap up in fall 2020, the project calls for bridge and pavement improvements along I-494 from the Minnesota River to Hardman Avenue in South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights.
The work will overlap slightly with another project in the area, $19 million worth of work to I-494 between Blaine and Hardman avenues. Shafer Contracting is overseeing that project, which began last year.
Kirsten Klein, a spokeswoman for MnDOT’s Metro District, said the Shafer project will wrap up this fall.
More bids were submitted for the leg of work between Blaine and Hardman avenues. That part of the project attracted six bids ranging from $18.97 million to $21.14 million, as Finance & Commerce reported in June 2018.
Abbey Bryduck, executive director of the Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association, said the latest project will be difficult in part because of a demanding schedule that calls for evening and weekend work.
The weekend work is intended to keep lanes open and prevent traffic interference, according to MnDOT. Even so, “it’s a really tough schedule,” Bryduck said.
Both projects are designed to improve traffic flow and safety on a stretch of I-494 that sees 114,000 to 118,000 vehicles a day.
As part of the coming round of construction, workers will resurface I-494 bridge decks over I-35E, replace joints, and repair I-494’s pavement between Third Avenue and the east side of the Minnesota River bridge, according to MnDOT’s project website.
The project also calls for drainage and lighting improvements, new traffic signals and the construction of a new turn lane I-494 and Pilot Knob Road.
MnDOT opened bids for 13 projects in all on Friday. Other notable projects include:
- A concrete grading and resurfacing job on Highway 75 in Norman County. The bidders were the Spruce Valley Corp. ($9.928 million) and Selling Brothers Inc. ($10.659 million).
- A reduced-conflict intersection at Highways 52 and 1 in Koochiching and St. Louis counties. The bidders were KGM Contractors Inc. ($7.487 million), Ulland Brothers Inc. ($8.09 million) and Mark Sand & Gravel ($9.9 million).