Featured, Local News, TIF

Killington selects first bids for municipal water infrastructure

By Polly Mikula

On Thursday, May 11, bids for the first phases of the municipal water project in Killington were revealed and selected. Two contracts were up for bid: Contract 1-3A, estimated at $20.2 million, which includes transmission line from the wells to the high service pump station on Route 4 and up across East Mountain Road to the water storage tank. Contract 3B, estimated at $3.4 million, includes the water main from the water storage tank, down to the bottom of Snowshed to service the proposed Six Peak Village.

Dufresne Group Consulting Engineers, which is overseeing this portion of the projects on behalf of the town of Killington, set the project scope and estimates.

Casella came in with the lowest bid for Contract 1-3A at $18,244,850. There were six bids in total, the highest of which was $26,217,200.

Kubricky came in with the lowest bid for Contract 3B at $2,294,720. There were four bids, the highest of which was $2,612,103.

“The number of bids we received was really great,” said Timothy Knapp, project engineer at Dufresne Group. “The construction climate can be a little unpredictable now. So it was really good to see that number of bidders and the bid prices.”

In addition to the main contract, three add alternatives were solicited for the Contract 1-3A portion —  these are items that the projects needs, but the town temporarily separated to be budget conscious. The first was for a third well with connection, which Casella bid at $161,000 (it was estimated at $80,000). The second was for two more turbine pumps at the pump station on Route 4, which Casella bid at $900,000 (estimated $1,000,000). The third was for underground power lines to the Wellhouse, which Casella bid at $75,000 (estimated $75,000).

Contingencies in Casella’s bid tacked on $1,080,000 (estimated $2,480,000).

Engineering elements including final design: $283,000, Amendment #1 (source development): $241,000, Construction Phase: $1,300,000 all came in equal between bid and estimate. For Admin, Legal, Fiscal Casella bid $434,000 (estimated 495,000).

The total — including the add alternatives, contingencies, engineering and admin — bid from Casella was $21,675,571 (estimated $24,755,000).

Because the total was less than budgeted, the town will move forward with all three alternatives.

There were no add alternatives for Contract 3B.

The Dufresne Group will now vet Casella and Kubricky as the “apparent low bidders on both projects,” Knapp explained. “We will do a full review on the bids received. Then we will issue what’s called a fifth tab, that’s just the tabulation of all the bids broken down by the individual items. We check the math and make sure everything’s okay. And then the next step is to do a qualifications review on the lowest bidders… once we’ve done our review, we’ll provide the town with a ‘Recommendation To Award’ letter.”

It takes one to two weeks on averages for Dufresne Group to complete the review and get the town the ‘Recommendation To Award’ letter, Knapp said. After, the Vermont Bond Bank needs to approve it through its State Revolving Funds (SRF) program.

“They need to basically concur with the ‘Recommendation To Award’ to the contractor and that sometimes takes a little bit of time,” Knapp explained. “Once the town has that in hand and they’re good to go, they can go ahead and sign the contract. All in all — from bid to signing — it’s usually around two months,” he summarized.

“It’s up to the contractor how they approach things but once we get to signing a contract we also sign what’s called a ‘Notice To Proceed’ that identifies basically the start of the contract calendar,” Knapp said. “In the contract, the contractor has a certain number of ‘contract days’ to complete the project,” he explained.

As construction progresses, Dufresne Group Consulting Engineers “will also be doing construction administration and oversight,” said Knapp. “I’ll be the construction manager for different groups during the contract time, and we’ll also have resident project representative on site throughout construction there… if something comes up, we are that interface between the two [contractor and town].”

While the timeline is still  hard to pin down precisely, work should begin later this summer and fall, continue in earnest through through the construction season of 2024 (with the tank site completed that year, a contract requirement) and finish by 2025.

Most of the work will be hidden, Knapp said. The wells are pretty deep in the woods off the flats of Route 4 (behind the Mountain Times building). The pump house further along Route 4 to the east will be visible. Some work will also be visible where the transmission line crosses East Mountain Road to the storage tanks (which are hidden in the woods). The transmission line from the tanks to the village down the ski slope (Contract 3B) will be visible during the construction phase.

Future contracts will bring the waterline down Killington Road. “We will be starting the design on Contract 4 shortly that begins to bring it down Killington Road… that’s about 7,000 feet of water main,” Knapp said.

Bid detail for 1-3A

Killington – Contract 1-3a Bid Tab Killington – Contract 3b Bid Tab

Bid detail for 3B

Killington – Contract 3b Bid Tab

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