Contractor chosen for Lower Elgin Road Bridge repairs

The Elgin Courier: October 17, 2018

The repair of the Lower Elgin Road Bridge faces a hard deadline of December 31 for all construction to be finished.

During a regular meeting on Tuesday, October 9, the Bastrop County commissioners court approved a motion to award the contract for the Lower Elgin Road Bridge Repair Project to Beck-Reit and Sons, Ltd. In their bid, Beck-Reit and Sons submitted a lump sum price of $122,022.00, lower than the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s estimated repair cost of $127,215.90.

The other contractor that submitted a bid for the project, 304 Construction, LLC, submitted a lump sum price of $147,000.00.

Bastrop County purchasing agent Leon Scaife said contractors are chosen based on best value; in this case, Beck-Reit and Sons was not only the best price, but also responsive at turning in the necessary documents.

Three-quarters of the project will be funded by a grant from FEMA, while the rest will be funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture. FEMA-funded projects are typically funded 75 percent by FEMA with the county contributing 25 percent. In this case, the county received a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture to cover the remaining 25 percent, meaning it will ultimately cost the county nothing. The county will initially pay for the project and then be reimbursed for the project from the grants.

The FEMA grant requires a hard deadline of December 31 for all construction and repairs on the bridge to be finished. Scaife said this December 31 deadline does not apply to all the paperwork, but Texas Department of Agriculture’s deadline of January 27 includes all paperwork. The term of contract is 60 days, which is an average amount of time for a road or bridge project, Scaife said. The 60-day term of contract starts when the county sends the contractor a notice to proceed letter; once the county gets a signed contract, the contractor submits bonds for the project, and then after a pre-construction meeting, the notice to proceed letter is sent.

The deadline is quickly approaching, Scaife said, and he hopes to have the pre-construction meeting within this next week and hopefully start construction by the end of the month.

“We got down to the very end of the term here,” Scaife said.

Much of the time was spent “going back and forth” on working out all the grants, Scaife said.

“Time is of the essence,” County Judge Paul Pape said at the commissioners court meeting.

Although not a part of the contract itself, Pape mentioned at the meeting how one condition of the Texas Department of Agriculture funds is that the county must keep the bridge for five years and delay giving it to a buyer such as local film studio New Republic Studios. In August, the film studio signed a memorandum of understanding with the county as a potential buyer. However, he said the county would work with New Republic Studios on an agreement for the management and operation of the bridge during that time.


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