Bleigh's bid was below engineer's estimate

Bleigh Construction of Hannibal will be recommended to the Hannibal City Council as the contractor to perform the city's riverfront renovation.

"Bleigh Construction is tentatively the low bid right now, and as of today, that's who we are going to recommend for the contract," said Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department.

Bleigh's bid of $6,648,000 was beneath the engineer's estimated project cost, Mayor James Hark said.

"I have to compliment the contractors,” Hark said. “They sharpened their pencils.”

Dorian said Bleigh's bid, one of four bids opened Tuesday afternoon, is a "good number."

"It's a high number and we knew it would be, but it is where the city is comfortable at going forward over the next 20 years," he said.

The project will be paid off through the use of bonds.

"We are not increasing any tax," Hark said. "We are just using the dollars we have more effectively."

First reading of the bonding package will occur at the Tuesday, Oct. 16, meeting of the City Council. Second reading of the bonding package and the contract with Bleigh will be up for approval at the Council's Tuesday, Nov. 6, meeting.

Hark is hopeful that work will commence shortly after the contract is approved.

Hark said the project will have a 360-day window for completion. He believes the timetable is realistic.

"If the weather continues in the same patterns as it has the past two years, we should have no problem," he said. "In fact, by next summer, a good three-fourths of the project should be completed and enjoyed during the Bicentennial."

The project will feature new riverfront lighting, walkways and marina. Beyond the basic work, the project will also feature 10 add-on alternates. The add-ons include constructing a trellis and upgrading a gravel parking lot across from Kiwanis Park. The parking lot work will be done in-house to cut costs, Dorian said.