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GF landfill will cost almost $4M less

It'll cost the city of Grand Forks almost $4 million less to build the new landfill than engineers had estimated, according to bids submitted Thursday.

It'll cost the city of Grand Forks almost $4 million less to build the new landfill than engineers had estimated, according to bids submitted Thursday.

Total cost for the landfill in Rye Township, N.D., north of the airport and the road that leads to it would total $6.9 million.

Public Works Director Todd Feland speculated that the city got a better deal than expected because poor economic conditions in the Twin Cities area meant contractors there could really use the work and the city contract is pretty hefty.

Local contractors won bids for the road construction and electrical and mechanical work.

City staff still needs to check work references, after which the City Council would have to decide at its meeting Monday.

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Feland said construction could begin in early July with at least half of the first landfill cell be usable by Oct. 15. The other half could be done by Sept. 1, 2010, he said.

A cell is the industry term for the garbage containing area. It has its own liner, wastewater collection system -- rain water percolating through garbage result in something colloquially called "garbage juice" -- and air-quality sensors.

The city can add new cells after the first one fills up in about nine or 10 years. The landfill can accommodate as many as 10 cells.

The biggest portion of the project was the general contracting, which includes overseeing the project, building cells to hold the garbage, a garage and office building and a pump station and pipes to take wastewater to the sewage plant down the road.

The two lowest bids came from Veit Companies, which asked for $5 million, and Belair Excavating, which asked for $5.2 million. Both have corporate headquarters in the Twin Cities.

A Grand Forks firm and a Fargo firm won bids for the mechanical and electrical work, which added another $336,000 for a total of $5.4 million.

Engineers estimated the total would be $9.2 million.

Several firms came much closer to that mark, with Wanzek from Fargo asking for $8.4 million and Strata Corp. of Grand Forks asking for $7.9 million.

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The spread in the road construction bids was not so great. Engineers estimated total cost at $1.6 million. Robinson Excavating in Grand Forks won the bid with $1.5 million. The highest bid, from Strata, was $205,000 more.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

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