Amtran work to cost less than anticipated

Amtran will need to pay only a little more than two-thirds of the initially estimated cost of replacing the roof and making other repairs at its downtown Transportation Center platform.

The bus authority awarded a $156,000 contract this week to J.C. Orr & Son, whose CEO confirmed to Amtran consulting engineer Brent Cartwright of EADS that he was comfortable with his bid, despite Cartwright’s initial estimate of $225,000.

Cartwright was further reassured that things weren’t amiss by the proximity of the second bid — $163,000, he said.

He also took comfort in his own original estimate, based on the median price among nine bids: $229,000 — just $4,000 higher.

The top bid was $265,000.

The timing of bid advertisements, during a period when contractors are setting up their fair-weather schedules, probably helped produce the good results, Cartwright told the board.

So did the flexibility the job will allow: It can be done during any 60 consecutive days between mid-April and the end of October, Cartwright said.

EADS, which will monitor the work, should be wary of potential change orders and delays, based on the premise that a contractor who bid too low might seek to make up for it indirectly, advised board member Dick Moran and others.

Because the project will compromise parking in the lot behind the platform and cause other disruptions, EADS included a $1,000-a-day penalty for delays, Cartwright said.

The firm formerly attached smaller penalties for delays, but they didn’t work well, Cartwright said.

“This puts some teeth in it,” he said.

Because of the generous period within which Orr can schedule the work, there should be no excuses for overruns on time, Cartwright said.

The company can order, fabricate and store materials at its shop so it’s ready to go before launching, he said.

Workers will complete half the platform, then begin work on the other half, to enable riders to use the platform throughout the project.

The work will eliminate 25 parking spaces immediately behind the area being worked on.

Orr will need to pay federal wage rates.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.