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VOL. 129 | NO. 156 | Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Harahan Rebid Comes in $5 Million Lower

By Bill Dries

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Preliminary bids on the Harahan Bridge pedestrian and bicycle boardwalk and a West Memphis trail system connecting to the bridge came in $5 million lower than the first round of bids on the projects.

The project was rebid after a first round of bids on the bridge boardwalk in late 2013 came in at $21.5 million and the West Memphis part came in at $4 million.

The preliminary low bid opened Friday, Aug. 8, on the bridge boardwalk was $17.5 million, about $4 million lower than the first set of bids, said Downtown Memphis Commission president Paul Morris.

A week earlier, the preliminary low bid on the West Memphis trail from the boardwalk into West Memphis was $2.8 million, about $1 million lower than the first set of bids.

In each project, Morris and his team, who are managing the larger Main Street to Main Street Connector project for the city of Memphis, redesigned features on both to bring the cost down but also incorporated new features.

The bridge, which has been rebranded as the Big River Crossing by the private nonprofit raising funds for it, and the West Memphis trails are the only two parts of the Main to Main project that are not currently under construction.

Morris had said construction work would not begin on either until the private funding necessary to complete those two parts was secured.

The low bids will be evaluated and double-checked in the next three months to verify that the bids are valid and match the specifications and then the contracts can be awarded.

The gap between private money raised for the bridge crossing and the West Memphis trails and what is needed stands at $2.5 million with the preliminary bids, according to Morris.

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