KOUTS | The town opened eight bids recently to complete downtown beautification work begun in 2007.
The apparent low bidder was Hooks Concrete, of Glenwood, Ill., at $75,580, but it was followed closely by Rex Construction, of Schererville, at $75,803 and Gariup Construction, of Gary, at $75,900. The bids ranged up to $95,316 from Rieth-Riley Construction, of Gary.
Town Engineer James Mandon said the bids are 10 to 12 percent higher than those for the first phase of the work on Main Street. This phase will complete downtown improvements through the commercial section south of Ind. 8. Mandon will make a recommendation to the town's Economic Development Commission, which is funding the project, this month.
"We have enough bids that I think these are the appropriate prices," Mandon said.
The work involves replacing the last three NIPSCO cobra head lights and wooden poles with the decorative lights erected during the first phase. Also, concrete sidewalk, some with a stamped pattern, will be installed on the west side of Main from Will Street to the Family Express and on the east side from Mentor Street to the alley by the pizza restaurant.
On Mentor, some sidewalk will be replaced, including a section in front of the fire station and another 10 missing links near Main. The sidewalk work also will include replacing curbs. The second phase involves work the town held up on to see how far improvements done by the state would extend south of the intersection at Ind. 8.
Mandon said he expects to give the winning contractor the official notice to proceed April 1. It should take about 60 days to complete.