Grosse Pointe City water main project comes in below estimated cost

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 17, 2024

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — After seeing many projects come in well above estimated costs in the last couple of years, Grosse Pointe City got some welcome news when bids for 2024 water main replacement projects came in below what the city’s engineers estimated.

And well below estimate, at that — about $382,000 less, Mayor Sheila Tomkowiak said at a March 18 Grosse Pointe City Council meeting.

The City Council voted unanimously March 18 in favor of a low bid from Plymouth-based Bidigare Contractors Inc. to perform the work for $1,442,527.

“We did have five bids this time, which is great,” Public Service Director Peter Randazzo said.

The project will include the following: Replacing the water main on St. Clair Avenue between Maumee and Jefferson avenues via directional boring; using pipe bursting to install a new water main on Notre Dame Street between Maumee Avenue and St. Paul Street; transferring water service from a 6-inch water main to an existing 12-inch water main on St. Clair Avenue between Maumee Avenue and St. Paul Street using directional boring; and installing new water mains on Stratford Place and Wellington Place and looping both streets together to eliminate existing dead-end mains, which is expected to result in better water flow and firefighting capabilities.

“Water pressure is our biggest concern all the time,” Public Safety Director John Alcorn said. “From a public safety aspect, it’s a big (relief) for us” that this project is happening.

Randazzo said the city’s goal is to get rid of all dead-end water mains south of Jefferson Avenue.

City Manager Joseph Valentine said this project is “part of our ongoing efforts to improve the infrastructure.”

Restoration, concrete removal and replacement are all part of the bid. With a 10% contingency, the total contract is $1,586,779.70. Funds for the project will come from bond proceeds.

The city’s engineering firm is confident that Bidigare can successfully complete this job.

“Bidigare Contractors, Inc. has been in business for nearly 25 years, specializing in underground utility construction and has successfully completed numerous water main installations throughout Southeast Michigan including pipe bursting and water main installation by directional drilling,” wrote Project Engineer R. Ryan Kern, of Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc., in a March 15 memo to Randazzo. “AEW has administered projects completed by Bidigare Contractors in the past and have found them to be a very competent contractor and very knowledgeable in this type of work.”

Randazzo said Bidigare has worked for the City in the past.

“I was very impressed with their workmanship and attention to detail,” Randazzo said.