Reconstruction plans for 10 blocks of North Broadway Avenue could be sidelined after contractors’ price tags exceeded the city’s construction estimates.
"It’s hard to say specifically why they were so much higher," Rochester City Engineer Dillon Dombovski said. "We received a low number of bids, and we were already beginning to see indications of potential economic impacts due to the ongoing pandemic."
The lowest of the three bids for the project was nearly $19.5 million, which is more than $5 million beyond the city’s $14.2 million estimate.
Dombrovski said the city’s desire to maintain travel in each direction during the construction, rather than closing the roadway, could have also increased the companies’ cost estimates.
The city’s budget already called for using $1.2 million in added state funding to fill a gap created when planned property assessments were adjusted earlier this year. Other funding sources include utility funds and state Destination Medical Center funding.
Dombovski said the city doesn’t have access to enough state funds to fill the added shortfall produced by the higher project bids.
The Rochester City Council is expected to be asked to reject the proposed construction contracts to seek new bids at a later date.
The council could also direct Public Works staff to revise the project to reduce anticipated costs.
Dombovski said the proposed delay could put the project in the path of future funding options.
"There could be an opportunity with the current state of emergency to acquire stimulus funding that may be available in the coming months," he wrote in a report to the council. "In the past, a stimulus package has looked for ‘shovel-ready’ projects, for which this project would meet that criteria and be a good candidate project to receive additional funds."
The North Broadway reconstruction project has been in the works for three years, after the city selected Bolton and Menk Inc. as the design consultant for the planned reconstruction, which stretches from Civic Center Drive to the bridge near Silver Lake.
Dombovski said the potential for added state funding would likely delay the project’s start to next year.