Birch Bay Water and Sewer District (BBWSD) staff would like to replace the water main under Lincoln Road at the same time the county rebuilds the road, but not if it costs the district more than it’s prepared to pay.
At an April 26 board meeting, assistant district manager Dan Eisses reported to commissioners that Lynden-based Stremler Gravel had submitted a $190,824 bid for the job. Stremler was selected for the road improvements by the county after they submitted the lowest bid, $2.2 million, in early April.
Eisses said Stremler’s bid was higher than the $150,000 budgeted by the district for the job and that he intended to work with Stremler to reduce their bid.
The existing pipe running the length of the road is almost 35 years old and will be replaced with a smaller diameter pipe, Eisses explained. The smaller diameter will not reduce water flow to any customers in the area.
The county offered to include the waterline work when they prepared the bid process, but Eisses declined, fearing the county could have chosen the lowest bidder for the road improvements, but not necessarily for the waterline work. Eisses pointed out that doing so could have meant a higher than necessary price for BBWSD.
The district did receive another bid from Arlington-based Trenchless Construction for the water main replacement project, $88,000, but it was just for the sliplining portion.
The most expensive portion of Stremler’s estimate for the waterline work, $84,560, was their charge for sliplining, or pulling the smaller diameter new pipe through the old one.
If the district cannot agree upon a price with Stremler and goes with the current lowest bidder, the county has requested the waterline work be done before the road improvements start.
This has the potential to add another week to the closure of Lincoln Road. The work is expected to last from late May to October and will completely close the road, though disruptions to the Harborview and Shintaffer intersections should not last more than 30 days.
Whatcom County public works had planned to use safety flaggers to take the road down to one lane during construction but later opted to close it entirely due to safety and cost concerns.
Local residents will still be able to reach their homes and the two businesses along Lincoln Road. Anderson Road will serve as a detour route for east/ west traffic.
County public works will widen Lincoln Road between Harborview and Shintaffer to 12-foot lanes with 8-foot shoulders.
Dedicated left-turn lanes at the intersections, wetland mitigation and storm water treatment facilities will also be installed.