Another delay for streetscape project

The downtown Cairo streetscape project has hit another delay, which will push the project start date into the spring.
After advertising the project, the city only received one bid on Dec. 4 and the lone bid was more than double the amount of the grant the city was awarded to cover the bulk of the project cost.
A.C. Blount Concrete Services, Inc., submitted a bid of $1,505,103.41. On the recommendation of Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton, the city council this week rejected the bid and authorized for the project to be readvertised.
The city was awarded a $700,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation in May 2011 for phase one of the streetscape project. City officials had hoped to break ground in January, but now the start date will be shifted into the spring.
“Hopefully we can still get started in the spring and be done by September or October,” Addleton said.
Three contractors pulled plans, but only one submitted a bid, according to the city manager. The total estimate for the project was $900,000 and based on current pricing, Addleton said that project cost should not have increased much more than five percent.
“This bid is way out of line and it’s disappointing. We had wanted to get started in January,” the city manager said.
Addleton wondered out loud if a provision in the bid solicitation that indicated a notice to proceed would be issued in January had scared off potential bidders.
“We’re not putting a notice to proceed date in the next round of advertisements,” Addleton said.
The project includes a reduction in lanes on South Broad Street to two plus a turning lane, landscaping, benches and new lighting and traffic signals.
City officials had said previously that it will take four to six months to complete phase one.
Phase one of the streetscape will encompass South Broad Street from the railroad to the intersection of Second Avenue S.E. and M.L. King Jr. Avenue S.W. Phase two, which has already been designed, as has phase three, would run from the railroad to Roddenbery Memorial Library. The phase three of the streetscape would connect Broad Street to Davis Park on the east and to the Grady Cultural Center on the west.

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