I heard the proposals to replace Elton Hills Drive bridge came in too high. Does that mean we’re stuck with the barricades for an extended period? -- A frustrated driver

Some would say it’s already been an extended period, but the quick answer to your question is “no.”

The $5 million construction bid unanimously approved by the Rochester City Council on Aug. 16 exceeded earlier estimates by approximately $900,000. When combined with engineering and other costs, it brings the total expense to nearly $5.8 million.

The city’s Public Works Department was able to increase the amount of state aid to $2.9 million, for the project to keep the project on schedule.

Other funding includes $1 million in state bridge bonds and $1.6 million in federal aid.

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City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski said a portion of the increased expense is related to higher than predicted costs for materials required.

“We were low on our engineering estimates,” he told the Rochester-Olmsted Council of Government this week, noting the contractors that bid on the project had to determine what would happen with material costs during the winter.

The other bids on the project were for $5.4 million and nearly $5.6 million.

Rochester-Olmsted Council of Government on Wednesday approved shifting $200,000 in federal funding to the project, which put the total contribution at $1.6 million.

The $200,000 was originally earmarked for a trail project along Broadway Avenue near Crossroads Shopping Center at U.S Highway 14, but a delay in that project meant the city needed to find another use for the federal funds or lose them.

With the change, the city can reserve $200,000 in local funds to use for the trail project when it’s ready to begin.

While the trail no longer has a start date assigned, the Elton Hills Drive bridge project is estimated to start in October with the project expected to be completed by the end of June next year.

Send questions for the Answer Man to answerman@postbulletin.com.