By BRADEN LAMMERS
A contractor that is somewhat unfamiliar to Jeffersonville officials was awarded the bid to construct the city’s Big Four Station on Monday, and work is expected to soon begin.
Wycliffe Enterprises Inc., was the low bidder for the city’s plans to construct a two-block park at the foot of the Big Four bicycle and pedestrian bridge ramp. The Maryland-based firm, with an office in Louisville, was the lowest of the four bidders for the project at a base price of $4.2 million.
Big Four Station plans call for a two-block park at the foot of the Big Four Bridge with restrooms, a multipurpose shelter, a water feature and a playground to be constructed between Pearl and Mulberry streets, and from Market and Maple streets.
The designer’s estimate for the project — from The Estopinal Group — project was also $4.2 million. The remaining bids ranged from $4.6 million to $6.7 million for the base construction work.
After the bids had been received, Joel Wallace, associate with The Estopinal Group, Inc., said the design firm reviewed the two lowest offers. He added the other bids were not reviewed because the cost difference excluded them from consideration.
And after review of the bids and “a lot of due diligence” on Wycliffe Enterprises, Wallace said the recommendation was to go with the low bid.
“Overall, across the board they were very comparable,” he said.
To help allay concerns from Redevelopment Commission members who did not know much about the construction firm, Wallace provided a list of the company’s subcontractors, which included a host of familiar names. Among the local firms signed on to work on the project were Clark Nickles Inc., Stemler Corp., Construction Solutions and Walnut Ridge Nursery and Garden Center, along with a handful of Louisville-based contractors.
The redevelopment commission approved the bid 3-0, with Commissioners Rob Stevens and James Lake absent from Monday’s special meeting.
Construction on the northern portion of the project is expected to begin soon.
“The one site is basically ready to go,” Wallace said.
Plans are to build the Big Four Station in two phases. Jeffersonville Redevelopment Director Rob Waiz said in a previous report the first phase of the project would reconstruct the north end, or Maple Street side of the park. Once the Big Four Bridge ramp is completed, work could begin on the south end of the park.
However, contractors will be forced to wait until the state has completed the construction of the walking bridge ramp before work can get underway on the Market Street side of Big Four Station.
“Because of the way the contracts are currently with the Big Four ramp ... they have to have that completely closed out, even paperwork-wise, in order [for work] to be able to start,” Wallace said.
Originally, the Indiana bridge ramp was scheduled to be open in April, but has been pushed back to an anticipated November completion date.
“The first leg, hopefully, should be done before winter,” Wallace said of Big Four Station. “The second phase could start in March, and that’s a worst-case-scenario. The first phase should be done before that.”