In an April letting that drew a large number of single-bidders, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has awarded that month’s largest job to the only company that submitted an offer.
Payne & Dolan, of Waukesha, submitted a $21.5 million bid — the only offer — for a project on Interstate 94 in the county. WisDOT awarded the job last week after closing bids on April 14. It was the largest single project in the April letting.
WisDOT received a large number of single-bid offers in April’s letting, even as the coronavirus has brought about a shutdown of much of public life. Having been deemed essential, construction continues throughout the pandemic, and state officials are continuing to bid out projects.
Of the 34 jobs up for grabs in April’s letting, 11 drew just a single bidder. Those single bids add up to about $43.9 million in work — or about 52% of the $84 million in offers the agency received.
But while single-bid contracts are often blamed for driving up the price of infrastructure projects, most of the bids the agency received in April came in under engineering estimates. An agency spokesperson previously said WisDOT saved a total of $5 million in the April letting. Eight of the 11 single-bids came in below the department’s estimates.