Bids too high, so Yarmouth reduces Route 88 paving project

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YARMOUTH — Construction bids for the Route 88 paving project came back to the town higher than expected, and as a result the project will have to be shortened and sent back out to bid.

According to Town Engineer Dan Jellis, the project must be reduced by nearly half the original distance.

The original project included pavement replacement along Route 88 from Smith Street to Bayview Street with upgrades to the existing sidewalks along the north side of Spring Street. The reduced project will include repaving from around Marina Road to Bayview Street, he said.

The estimated total cost of the project is $1.3 million; the state’s share is $933,000 and the town will pay $370,000. The bids came with a $130,000 funding gap, and $120,000 for the sidewalk was not funded. In addition, Jellis said the construction project needs a contingency plan, so an additional $50,000 will be needed. Given those amounts, Jellis said the project exceeds the funding capacity by nearly $300,000.

“We really want to address the sidewalks, so we need to shorten the project to fit the funds available,” Jellis said. “If we can get the project back out to bid soon, construction should still start in the spring.”

Town Manager Nat Tupper said the Town Council last week asked the Maine Department of Transportation to reduce the estimated cost by $250,000 and seek new bids for construction costs as soon as possible. The council will also request a bid alternate to extend the project from its end point to Pleasant Street near the Interstate 295 overpass to allow for an improved bicycle and pedestrian connection to Pleasant Street.

The council will appropriate the construction contingency of about $50,000 when and if the bids are rewarded.

Tupper said there will be a meeting with MDOT Friday to further discuss the project.

“Whatever we do,” he said, “we want to do it right.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or