March 14, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 11

Bids are in for North Harbor Project

Petersburg Harbormaster Glorianne Wollen and staff will make a recommendation to the Petersburg Borough Assembly Monday evening regarding the bids that were received for the North Harbor Project.

"The Assembly will be presented with the bid results and the recommendation will be to go with the low bidder," Wollen said. "Western Dock and Bridge out of Ketchikan came in with that low bid."

The bids that were received were from Tamico, Inc. for $7,189,420; Pacific Pile and Marine, LLC for $7,855,462; American Construction Company for $8,517,800 and Western Dock and Bridge for $7,090,670.

"This has been a really extensive process," Wollen explained. "The funding aspect of this has been decades in the making."

According to Wollen, they began really looking into replacing the North Harbor back in the 90s when harbors were still owned by the State.

"We made it to the point that we were next on the docket for state funding to replace our North Harbor but the state then through their Department of Transportation program decided they were going to get out of the harbor business," Wollen stated. "They started the process in 1996 letting the municipalities know that they would be giving over ownership of the harbors to the towns."

Wollen explained that the State reassured them that they would not be abandoned so they went through and gave a value to the harbor and cashed out to Petersburg to the sum of $2.5 million.

"This was depreciation funding that was no where close to what was needed," Wollen stated. "They also put in place a program through DOT, of a municipal match grant. We were able to take that money, invest it, grow it to $3.5 million and that is how we got the $7 million for the project to begin with."

Petersburg was awarded this $7 million last year specifically for the North Harbor Project.

The Alaska Department of Transportation took approximately 10 years to get completely out from under the harbor businesses.

"We took over ownership of the harbor in 2006 and at that time, the estimates were roughly $7 million for this project," Wollen said. "After all of the design work was done, we realized that the construction aspect of this would be closer to $8 million."

The overall project has been estimated at $9 million with all of the engineering that will be completed.

"We scrambled quite a bit through the city government and they found funds from the general fund and the power fund and the raw fish tax and ended up with that extra $2 million that we needed," Wollen stated. "We were able to go to bid with $8 million that was dedicated for this project."

According to Wollen, she feels really good about going into the project in the black with this bid of $7,090,670.

"We never know what will happen on a project," Wollen stated. "With cost overruns and general issues that arise with a project such as this but hopefully we can hold to that number."

This recommendation will be taken to the Assembly Monday evening for their final decision.

"We are happy that it is an Alaskan company with the low bid," Wollen stated. "All of the bids were pretty close across the board until they got into the alternates and that is where the prices began to differ. This bid includes all three of the alternates."

Wollen explained that once the Assembly awards the bid, the contractors are poised and ready to begin immediately.

"The building portion of the float system will occur offsite," Wollen stated. "That will all be shipped in and there are many things that have to happen as those are being built, but we are planning to pull the floats beginning Aug. 1."

At the same time the floats are being removed, the Corp of Engineers will begin the dredging.

"They were great to work with us on this dredging project," Wollen stated. "They will begin their part of this when we have the floats out of the water."

Wollen explained that the in water portion of the project must be completed by April 2014.

A plan has been put into place for almost everyone with a boat in the North Harbor now.

"Once fishing season begins, the real mass exodus will begin," Wollen said. "Many of the boats have already been moved, but I'm out of stalls now, so we will see when the time comes."

Wollen explained that when the project is completed there will be basically the same amount of stalls but they will differ in length and width to accommodate newer built boats.

"We are trying to anticipate the future," Wollen stated.

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