Road Work Bids Well Above Estimates

Cheyenne, WY – As the state enters the road construction season, a handful of projects will cost much more then expected. The winning bids for Main Street renovations in Riverton and Newcastle, and rehab work to six Western Wyoming bridges were all well above engineers' estimates. Several factors are to blame. The first problem is the price of steel, which has gone up about 30% in recent months. Rising oil prices are also affecting how construction companies make bids. Those have combined with unknowns in these three projects to drive costs up. Ken Spear is the Contracts and Estimates Engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation. He says the Riverton project had some specialty items that were tough to estimate, like landscaping, colored concrete and meandering sidewalks. The Riverton and Newcastle projects should have cost about $3.7 million each, but the winning bids were $800,000 and $500,000 above estimate. The Western Wyoming bridge work will cost about 80-thousand more then $489,000 estimate. Spear says these three projects weren't straight-forward jobs, which are easier to estimate. He says they will be able to adjust to rising costs to keep future bids from coming in well above estimate.