In May, not one company entered bids to replace the bridge over Truax Creek on Old Salem Road.
But Tuesday morning, bids from seven companies were opened during the Linn County Board of Commissioners meeting by County Engineer Chuck Knoll, assisted by Roadmaster Darrin Lane.
The apparent low bidder was HP Civil Inc. of Stayton at $1,054,291.
Other bids were: Wildish Construction, Eugene, $1,437,087; Nat McDougal Co., Tualatin, $2,187,524; Oregon State Bridge Construction, Stayton, $1,244,127; Bent LLC, Scio, $1,267,127; Carter & Co., Salem, $1,190,970; and K & E Excavating, Salem, $1,228,923.
County road staff will examine bids to make sure they meet specifications and then make the final award at next Tuesday’s board meeting.
“No one bid on this last spring,” Board Chair Roger Nyquist said. “Was it about timing? Does this give you more time to plan and did that affect bidding?
Had bids been opened in May, construction would have begun this past summer. Linn Road Department staff agreed that since the project now won’t take place until next summer, having the coming months to plan played a role in the bidding process.
The current bridge is 43 feet long and was constructed in 1957. It is composed of a series of 22-foot long concrete slabs on timber caps. It does not meet seismic standards and its substructure has significant rot.
Loads are limited to 40 tons.
The next bridge will be 70 feet long and 41 feet wide. It will be a single-span reinforced prestressed concrete bridge.
It will have two 12-foot travel lanes, plus two 5-foot lanes for bicycles and a 5-foot sidewalk.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Were told by Planning Director Robert Wheeldon that the number of land-use applications is up 27 percent, contracted city permits are up 13 percent and the number of plan reviews is up 17 percent.
• Opened a sealed bid for property at 450 Center St. in Lebanon. Minimum bid was $13,552, but Tuesday’s bid was for $10,000. The county has previously rejected bids of $6,000 and $8,000. The county has owned the property due to back taxes since 2009 and and has spent about $13,000 tearing down an old building and cleaning up the three lots that have been used as a dumping ground. Commissioner Will Tucker wanted to accept the bid but Nyquist and John Lindsey wanted to think about the issue for a week.
• Approved the purchase of two lots next to the Old Armory building from Mark and Kathleen Thomas for $190,000 and the transfer of cash from the contingency fund.