RICHLAND -- Richland is on track to have work started this fall on the last phase of Keene Road improvements after a recent hiccup in the bidding process temporarily delayed the bridge widening that will cap the two-year project.
The city council this week awarded a $3.6 million contract to West Company of Airway Heights to widen the railroad bridge over Interstate 182 to provide two westbound traffic lanes and a shared use path.
The contract also includes improvements to Keene from Duportail Street to Country Ridge Drive that include bicycle lanes, a multi-use path and street lights.
Public Works staff said the project will start this fall and likely be finished in the fall of 2012.
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The bridge work comes on the heels of a yearlong project widening and repaving Keene from Queensgate Drive to Tomich Avenue. That phase also included construction of sidewalks, pathways and a traffic light at Kennedy Road.
The Queensgate to Tomich portion is set to finish this fall.
The city also is repaving Keene from Queensgate to Elementary Street, and expects to finish that work by the end of 2011.
The bridge contract was set to be awarded to Mowat Construction Co., of Woodinville, about a month ago, but West Company disputed the process when its bid was rejected for being submitted seconds past the deadline.
Public Works Director Pete Rogalsky told the city council on June 21 that there wasn't enough documentation to determine whether the contractor or the city staff was at fault for the bid being time-stamped after the deadline, so the council under advice from the city attorney opted to reject the four bids it had received and start over.
This time around, West was the apparent low bidder.
Council members noted at their meeting Tuesday that West's bid was lower than the one they were prepared to accept from Mowat in June, so the city ended up saving money by opening the project for a second round of bids, they said.
* Michelle Dupler: 509-582-1543; email@example.com