Belmont County officials were pleasantly surprised Wednesday when bids for a major guardrail project came in more than $80,000 below engineer's estimates.
County commissioners sought bids to replace about 2.5 miles of guardrail in eastern Belmont County, and the projected cost for the work was $306,315. The project includes Fulton Hill Road and Hospital Road in Bellaire, and Ferryview Road in Martins Ferry.
The M.P. Dory company of Columbus submitted the lowest bid of $219,985. PDK Construction of Pomeroy, Ohio bid $222,813; and Lake Erie Construction of Norwalk, Ohio, $225,175. The bids were fowarded to County Engineer Fred Bennett.
Photo by Joselyn King
Belmont County commissioners Mark Thomas, left, Matt Coffland and Ginny Favede open bids for a guardrail replacement project in the Fulton Hill Road area.
Bennett said guardrail replacement is specialized work, and only certain construction companies offer the service.
No local company does guardrail replacement, according to Bennett. He expects the project to be completed by Dec. 15.
"I thought the bids would be higher because this time of year guardrail contractors are really busy because of all the road construction jobs they do in the summer," Bennett said.
"One of the last jobs is to do the guardrail."
Commissioners provided the engineer's office with $200,000 this year directed toward guardrail replacement, Commission President Matt Coffland said.
"This is a great project, and we thought it would come in a lot higher, " he said. "This is less money the commissioners have to come up with."
Commissioner Ginny Favede said commissioners were contacted by residents on Fulton Hill Road about the guardrail issue, and they asked Bennett to examine the issue and determine whether there was a safety hazard.
He told them there were safety concerns with the guardrails, and commissioners acted quickly.
"We allocated the money because we do value the safety of our residents," she said.
In other matters, commissioners announced they will host a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Martins Ferry City Building.
Commissioners also will convene for a town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Sept. 5 at the Robinson Stage at Belmont County Fairgrounds.
Also, the commissioners' regular meeting set for 10 a.m. Sept. 10 will instead take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 9.