CHIPPEWA FALLS — Bids for the Erickson Park improvement project in Chippewa Falls came in lower than expected, which has officials excited about moving forward with the renovations.
Four bids were opened Tuesday at Chippewa Falls City Hall. The lowest bid was $1,650,398.25 from Haas Sons of Thorp, about $8,000 less than a bid from Chippewa Concrete Services of Chippewa Falls.
“I’m excited. The bids are very good,” said project organizer Ron Bakken. “The low bid is slightly under our construction estimate, so I’m thrilled.”
The entire project is now estimated at about $2.1 million. Between grants and fundraising, Bakken said he is about $80,000 short of having all the money in hand.
“We’ve raised enough to award these bids,” Bakken said.
The bid will cover construction of a 140-foot-long pedestrian bridge that crosses Duncan Creek, a boardwalk, boat landing, parking lot, and pavilion and picnic area. Construction is to begin this spring, with a possible completion date this fall but more likely in spring 2019.
Haas Sons also had the low bid of $23,143.75 for a smaller project involving some improvements on Ashley Lane, which is the road that enters the park off Jefferson Avenue.
The bids opened Tuesday do not cover the costs of constructing and installing the handicap-accessible fishing piers next to Glen Loch dam, adding bike lanes and some of the other improvements to Ashley Lane, Bakken said.
Chris Silewski, landscape architect with Ayres Associates, opened the bids. He was pleased to have four different companies submit bids and noted that all four were within $100,000 of each other.
“It’s right where we expected,” Silewski said. “We’re always happy to have more. Everything came in where we wanted it to.”
Silewski said he will review the bids to make sure they are complete. The bids will be reviewed by the Park Board before the City Council votes on whether to approve them on March 20.
Mayor Greg Hoffman attended the bid opening, and he was happy to see the interest in the project.
“They are all excellent bids. We’re very pleased, with the community commitment these businesses have,” Hoffman said.
In November, the project received a $136,591 state Department of Natural Resources grant. The DNR also approved two federal grants in mid-summer totaling $126,465, which will be used to revamp the shoreline along Glen Loch dam.
In April, the city received a matching grant from the National Park Service of $851,000 through the Land & Water Conservation Fund.