Design consultants bid on Falmouth Route 1 project

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FALMOUTH — In the first step after voters narrowly approved an $11.7 million bond to redesign U.S. Route 1, the town has received six bids to consult on the design phase of the project.

The bids, delivered to the town last week, range in size from $170,000 to nearly $500,000. All are lower than the $700,000 budget.

Some of the bidders have proposed doing all the work, while others proposed a mix with subcontractors.

“I think we’ll work very quickly on these,” Town Council Chairwoman Teresa Pierce said. “(Town staff) will weed out who is not going to work for the project and bring forward someone we think can really bring the project home.”

The consultants will work with the town to develop a design for the Route 1 project, which includes burying utility lines and making infrastructure improvements to the street, sidewalks and intersections between the intersection of Route 88 and the Maine Turnpike interchange. The project also includes installation of new street lights and medians, landscaping and storm-water management improvements.

The improvements are expected to mesh with recent changes to the zoning ordinance, which are designed to encourage more village-like development.

The submitted proposals all include a supplemental survey of existing conditions, final design and specifications, a plan for meetings with the public, coordination of permitting, and an overview of how they will handle the construction bid process.

Some of the firms and their partners have worked with Falmouth on past projects, including planning of Route 1 infrastructure improvements and work at Falmouth Public Schools.

The consultant bids and their associated costs are:

• T.Y. Lin International Group, which has dozens of offices, including one in Falmouth, $497,250.

Oak Point Associates, of Biddeford, $454,092.

Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, based in Burlington, Mass., with an office in South Portland, $314,550.

James W. Sewall Co., based in Old Town, with a Portland office, $283,048.

The Louis Berger Group, an international company with an office in Portland, $202,053.

A.E. Hodson, of Waterville, $169,918.

The Community Development Committee is reviewing the bids and will meet at Town Hall on Monday, Aug. 5, at 4 p.m..

Town Manager Nathan Poore said town staff will likely select a candidate next week and move through the design phase in the fall to begin work on construction documents and permitting.

Bids for all construction aspects of the project, besides paving, will likely go out to bid this winter, according to a tentative project schedule.

The first phase of construction is tentatively scheduled to begin next spring and be completed by the fall.

The paving portion of the project is expected to go through a public design phase in the summer of 2014 and go out for bids in the winter. Paving would likely begin in late spring 2015 and finish that fall.

The Route 1 South project is the culmination of work the town began in May 2005.

Construction of the Route 1 improvements is expected to be paid for through the Route 1 South Tax Increment Financing District. The TIF essentially earmarks business property taxes to pay for the project.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.