HANNIBAL — Options intended to make the cost of a major Hannibal Board of Public Works electrical project more affordable are expected to be presented during the upcoming September meeting of the HBPW Board.

Completion of a 34.5 kV ring throughout Hannibal has been a high priority of the HBPW’s for some time.

“That would allow us to feed any of our substations from two different directions,” said Mathew Munzlinger, director of operations for the HBPW, during the August meeting of the HBPW Board. “The retirement of the 73 line as part of the Finn Connection Project reinforced the selection of this project as the highest priority.”

Design work on the Oakwood and South Side tie line project began in January 2020.

According to Munzlinger, the project has encountered an assortment of issues.

“With COVID and everything it has delayed some of the progress on the project,” he said. “It also left us in a quandary on when to go out for bids because of labor shortages and material prices.”

The decision was made to advertise the project on June 28, with bids due July 28. Munzlinger said that as the bid deadline approached several potential bidders requested that the bid day be extended as well as the substantial completion date. The bId deadline was extended by two weeks to Aug. 11. The project’s substantial completion date was pushed back a month until May 2022.

“Instead of completing it by the first of April 2022 we pushed it out to the first of May 2022 to give them more time to get the materials and get them installed,” Munzlinger said. “We tried to address as many concerns as we could leading up to the bid opening.”

The HBPW wound up receiving just two bids for the tie line project. Both bids — approximately $3.2 million and $6.5 million — were more than the engineer’s estimate of $2.4 million.

Acting on Munzlinger’s recommendation the HBPW Board tabled a decision regarding the bids until its September meeting.

“Bids are good for 60 days as we look at some other options before we go with a higher price than anticipated,” he said. “Hopefully we will have a few more options next month (September).”

the next meeting of the HBPW Board is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20.

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