Fox Point — Fox Point officials will proceed with the removal of the Bridge Lane ravine footbridge, at a cost of just over $228,000.
As to what will happen after the bridge is gone, there was no new information at Tuesday's Village Board meeting, in which two contracts were approved tied to its demolition.
Although some residents at meeting had questions regarding reconstruction of the bridge, the board did not discuss the matter. Footbridge Friends continues to raise funds to cover half the cost of the bridge's eventual replacement, which has previously been estimated at $1.25 million.
Following a review of the five bids received for the demolition and removal of the footbridge, the board approved entering into a $187,700 contract with C.W. Purpero Inc. — about $150,000 less than village estimates for the project.
The board also authorized a separate $40,500 contract with Ayres Associates for construction inspection services, including preparation of contract documents and construction observation services.
Trustees Beverly Bell, F.R. Dengel and Christine Symchych voted against the contract with Ayres.
"It just seems like we're paying someone a pretty good hourly salary just for watching demolition, which is destroying something," Dengel said.
Public Works Director Scott Brandmeier explained that Ayres will be able to protect the best interests of the village by being on site to observe whether the contractors are completing their work carefully and executing the contract appropriately, and to immediately address any issues in the field, which he is not able to do.
Dengel and Symchych also suggested the village could possibly solicit more competitive bids from other firms for the work.
While Brandmeier said it is likely that others would be interested, he noted that inspection service fees tend not to vary much between companies, and Ayres is already familiar with the project.
The board chose not to consider alternate bids for the installation of a metal barrier railing along the concrete abutments of the former bridge site after demolition is completed, indicating a preference for village staff to complete that component of the project.
Brandmeier said he suspects the village could install a railing at a lower cost than the low bidder's estimate of $3,200.
Residents in attendance at the meeting expressed concerns related primarily to the cost of the project and impact to property owners.
"There's no question that we all feel that this bridge perhaps should have been put up to a public opinion poll, and the village did not do that," resident Jack Bryson said. "And I don't think it's fair when we're talking about this kind of money."
Resident Mary Connelly requested an estimated timeline for the project, and that village staff and contractors work with neighbors on any landscaping that may impact their properties.
Brandmeier said the intention is that landscaping and other work would be completed within village right of way only, but noted that village staff would like to meet with all affected property owners to discuss what is going to happen.
Because the asphalt and landscaping restoration included in the contract is based on unit price items, actual project costs could also come in lower than the contract amount, Brandmeier noted, depending on the extent of damage caused during demolition.
C.W. Purpero indicated in their proposal that they intend to collapse the bridge and then cut and remove bridge segments from the ground, taking care to protect the environmental features of the ravine. They will be required to provide a more detailed plan to the village describing the specific methods to be used in the demolition before work begins, Brandmeier said.
C.W. Purpero will have 50 days to complete the project from when they receive notice to proceed, which could happen as early as within the next two weeks, Brandmeier said. Ayres Associates will provide on-site project supervision for no more than 30 days.
Brandmeier said it is likely that the contractor will finish the project in fewer than 50 days, and possibly fewer than 30. The project must be completed no later than Oct. 15.
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