The City of Mill Creek, the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Marshbank Construction Inc. began a project to improve the intersection of 164th Street SE and Bothell-Everett Highway on Monday, September 10th. The project should be complete in three to four weeks.
The project removes the landscaped median on southbound Bothell-Everett Highway, and restripes 164th Street SE to extend the eastbound left turn lane.
This will increase left turn lane storage on both approaches to the intersection and should prevent back up into the through lanes. Signal timing changes will also be implemented to help improve traffic flow in all directions.
The project will cost $75,000 more than the City Engineer’s $185,000 estimate. The City Engineer, Scott Smith, said that he believed that bids came in higher than his estimate because at this time of year most contractors are very busy. He also said that making accurate estimates during these volatile economic times is very difficult.
Mill Creek went out for bids at the end of July, which is relatively late in the construction season. The delay occurred because the City reduced the original scope of the project and it took time for the Washington State Department of Transportation to give their final approval. Only two companies submitted bids by the time of bid opening on August 14th.
The low bid of about $228,000 from Taylor’s Excavators Inc. had to be rejected because it was non-compliant on one bid item. Marshbank Construction Inc. submitted the other bid for about $260,000. The City Attorney, Shane Moloney, advised the City Engineer that there was no recourse but to reject Taylor’s Excavators Inc.’s bid for non-compliance.
Smith recommended awarding the contract to Marshbank Construction Inc. at the August 20th special City Council meeting.
Councilmember Bart Masterson suggested that the City should go out for bids again next year with the expectation that the bids would be lower. He said that saving the City between $30,000 and $75,000 would be worth the wait, “In 25 years, what’s another six months?”
Smith said there was no guarantee that next year’s bids would be any lower than this year’s bids, and that moving the project into next year’s busy construction season might require outside project management services for an additional cost.
After some discussion, the majority of the City Council voted 5-1 (Councilmember Mark Harmsworth was absent) to award the $260,000 contract to Marshbank Construction, Inc. Masterson cast the lone “no” vote, with Mayor Mike Todd, Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Nielson, Councilmember Donna Michelson, Councilmember Terry Ryan, and Councilmember Mark Bond voting “yes.”