Freeway on hold as bids are reviewed

A challenge in the bidding process for the first phase of the Carson City freeway may create delays in construction.

The low bid is being challenged by the second low bidder. That contention creates a potential delay, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Magruder said Thursday.

Frehner Construction Co. of Las Vegas was the apparent low bidder for Phase 1A of the project with a bid of $14,007,777. Their total came in around $74,000 under the $14,081,403 bid from Q&D Construction of Reno.

Magruder said Q&D Construction is contesting Frehner's bid on the basis that the low bid is unrealistic. Q&D claimed that some of the prices listed in the bid were not accurate, Magruder said.

The bids for Phase 1A were opened Jan. 27. The transportation department has 30 days to award the contract, but Magruder said the award date may be moved pending a review of Q&D's complaint.

"This is not uncommon," he said. "(Q&D) may have a legitimate protest. There is the possibility to award the bid to another contractor or a remote possibility that we may rebid the project. There could be a delay of a week or two while we review the bids."

Frehner's bid was about $1.8 million under the state engineer's estimate of $15,769,577. Construction on Phase 1A of the freeway is scheduled to start in late March or early April.

Phase 1A includes construction of bridges across College Parkway, Emerson Drive, Northgate Lane and Arrowhead Drive.

Bids for the $90 million Phase 1B of the freeway's northern leg should be posted in February 2001. Construction is slated on the northern leg, which extends from Lakeview Hill to Highway 50, from 2000 to 2003. The second freeway leg from Highway 50 east to the Spooner Summit Junction has a $160 million price tag, and as of yet, no funding. Construction is expected to begin on the southern leg in 2004 and to finish in 2007.


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