MINOCQUA – Minocqua will borrow $2.3 million and kick in another $375,000 from its 2018 budget to complete an ambitious road program this year. The result will be to extend the life of those roads by several years and make travel a bit smoother for motorists.
The town board in special session Tuesday awarded low bids on nine of 10 road packages that director of public works Mark Pertile had recommended. The bid packages included upwards of 15 different road projects, most grouped by physical proximity to each other. Most of the work involves chip sealing and crack sealing roads, but a few sections of Minocqua’s 160 miles of paved town roads will see new asphalt.
Chip sealing extends the life of roads another 7-10 years before reconstruction is needed, according to Pertile. Supervisor John Thompson pointed to the success that the town of Lac du Flambeau has had with chip sealing its roads. With chip seal, a thin film of heated asphalt liquid is sprayed on the road surface, followed by the placement of small aggregates (“chips”). Typically, chip sealing is one-fourth to one-fifth the cost of conventional hot mix asphalt pavement. Pitlik and Wick of Eagle River had bid on all 10 packages; Fahner Asphalt of Plover had bid on four; American Asphalt of Mosinee had submitted just one bid but it was on the largest package. A representative of Pitlik and Wick requested and received permission to withdraw its bid on one package due to an error that transposed a set of numbers that greatly under estimated the Eagle River’s cost. The representative said if had been $6,000 or $8,000, they would have absorbed the cost. But the impact was in the neighborhood of an extra $58,000. The town will readvertise that project.
Another product calculation error by Pitlik and Wick in one of the multiple layers of contracts was also noted, but the board was of a single mind this time that the firm would have to assume the added cost. Still, Pitlik and Wick came away with the lion’s share of monetary awards. Excluding that one faulty bid package, the Eagle River firm received contracts totaling $1,798,328. Fahner Asphalt walked away with $620,857 in contracts. American Asphalt, the only other bidder, saw its $1,524,157 bid on the largest package bested by Pitlik and Wick at $1,462,535 (both figures before deletions). The board followed Pertile’s recommendation to delete several road projects within certain packages in order to stay under the ceiling of roughly $2.6 million. The total of all Pitlik and Wick’s bids came to $4.07 million before those deletions.
The road projects are to be “substantially completed” by Oct. 1, with Oct. 15 the final deadline. Representatives from the two successful contractors indicated they would meet the deadlines. The town board earlier agreed to borrow the $2.3 million from River Valley Bank at an interest rate of 3.99 percent with a 10-year payback.