Saratoga County

Town ready to award roads contract

The town is ready to award Rifenburg Construction of Brunswick a $33 million contract to build th

PHOTOGRAPHER:

The town is ready to award Rifenburg Construction of Brunswick a $33 million contract to build the roads inside the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

A vote at next Monday’s Town Board meeting will come four weeks after the town declared Rifenburg “lowest responsive bidder,” even though it submitted the second-lowest price when competitive bids were opened. The low bidder had omitted a required item, but could have challenged the decision.

“We have not had any correspondence from any other bidders,” said town Comptroller Kevin T. King.

Building the 5.5-miles of interior roads at the undeveloped 1,350-acre technology campus site in Malta and Stillwater is essential to bringing a $3.2 billion Advanced Micro Devices computer chip factory there. AMD has indicated it wants to start construction in 2009.

The contract covers roadwork in both Malta and Stillwater, with the Stillwater work being done under an intermunicipal agreement between the two towns, King said.

Construction should start within weeks of the contract award. It is expected to last two years.

The campus will have public entrances from Stonebreak Road off Route 9, Route 67 west of Maltaville and from Cold Springs Road in Stillwater.

A separate project in Stillwater will pave Cold Springs and several other town roads that are currently little-traveled and unpaved.

The internal campus roads are being paid for by a $37 million state grant. The town, however, is responsible for the construction contract and will own the roads after they are built.

Rifenburg was declared the lowest bidder on March 10, after a controversy involving it and the lowest bidder.

When the bids were opened Feb. 28, Kubricky Construction of Glens Falls had the low bid, but a subsequent review found Kubricky had overlooked the cost of almost $20,000 worth of highway sign posts.

The Rifenburg bid, at $33,054,856, was $17,000 higher than Kubricky, and included the sign posts.

On that basis, the Town Board declared Rifenburg the tentative bid-winner, and the vote next Monday would follow up on that decision.

King said the town’s project consultant, Creighton Manning Engineering of Albany, has now fully reviewed the Rifenburg bid, and found no problems.

“They have found the bid to be acceptable, and have recommended you go ahead and award the bid,” King told the Town Board on Monday.

Rifenburg is already working on a major local contract, and is close to getting more.

It is currently building the $22 million Round Lake bypass, which is also being required because of expected traffic growth due to development of the technology campus.

Rifenburg is also the apparent low bidder on a $3 million state Department of Transportation project to remove the Route 67 bridge near Curtis Lumber in Ballston. DOT opened those bids last week.

Assuming the bid passes engineering review, work should start within two months.

That project will replace the aging bridge that once crossed railroad tracks, and now crosses the Zim Smith recreation trail and a county sewer line. The high earth abutments will be lowered, and the bridge replaced with a culvert. A county water line will be installed in the trail right-of-way in coordination with the project.

The concrete culvert will be wide enough to allow the Zim Smith trail to have two separate paths: one for pedestrians, skiers and bicyclists, the other for horseback riders and snowmobilers.

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