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MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they held a meeting with Hagerty Excavating on February 25 to discuss the exploratory excavation bid item which has resulted in a project bid in excess of what was originally budgeted for this project. Mr. Hagerty explained why he did not believe the bid item was unbalanced. These resons include conflicting record drawing informatoin, the depth of the existing sanitary sewer, limited knowledge of the location of existing laterals, existing overhead lines, buried gas line on top of the sewer line, etc.

After some discussion, Mr. Hagerty indicated he would think over his sub-contractor proposal with Visu-Sewer and report back to them. 

MSA followed up with Visu-Sewer on March 3. At that time, Hagerty Excavating had not yet discussed a modified proposal with Visu-Sewer. In the meantime, MSA evaluated th eposibiltiy of abandoning as many of the sanitary sewers in this area as possible. However, after subsequent conversations with Sivyer Steel, it became obvious that in order to adequately serve Sivyer Steel, this was not a possible solution.

MSA had further discussions with Visu-Sewer about the possiblitiy of lining these sanitary sewers. Visu-Sewer indicated they will review this optino and get back to MSA by March 9, 2020.

MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they have discussed this proejct with Visu-Sewer and their sub-contractor, Hagerty Excavating. At the time of the report, MSA had scheduled a meeting with Hagerty Excavating for Tuesday, February 25 at 11am at the project site. 

Chris Cooper (MSA) reported at the Council meeting that the on-site get together with the sub-contractor did not result in any immediate reductions in projected costs because there were too many unknown factors, but that the contractor and their sub would take a second look at their estimated price and try to find ways to reduce it.

MSA explained their position to Visu-Sewer, that at this time, they (MSA) believed the bid on the project to be un-balanced. Any information that can be provided by Visu-Sewer and their sub-contractor would be helpful for MSA to then respond with more detail to help lessen the ambiguity and allow the contractor to re-bid line item 12 in their proposal.

MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they submitted a “Notice of Intent” to award this project to Visu-Sewer with teh reqeust they enter into a good faith dialogue to discuss methods to reduce inflow into the sanitary sewer that runs along the west side of Bellingham Roadway.

Ideas being discussed include lining the sanitary sewer as well as putting a cap on the number of hours the excavator utilizes to look for santiary laterals.

The City Council approved the low bid on this project of $160,921.50 from Visu-Sewer, Inc. The approved bid is nearly $50,000 more than the estimated price – primarily due to estimated costs for exploratory investigation of sanitary sewer lateral lines off of Bellingham Road. 

MSA recommended approving the bid and then continuing to negotiate alternative methods of investigating/dealing with the sewer lines off of Bellingham Road that, if approved, will reduce the total project price to bring it more in line with the initial project estimate.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that the bid opening for this project occured on January 21 at 2pm (as scheduled), but the low bid was significantly higher than MSA’s budgeted construction costs of $116,800.

The reason for the cost variance was related to the exploratory excavation for sanitary laterals located near Bellingham Road. MSA advised the Council that the firm would continue exploring ways to proceed with an award and simultaneously lower the project cost without committing any bidding violations.

As things currently stand, the work is still expected to take place this summer.

According to MSA Professional Services, the project has been advertised for bid. The public hearing is scheduled for January 14 at 7pm. A non-mandatory, pre-bid meeting has been held. 

The bid opening is scheduled for January 21, 2020 at 1:30 pm. MSA’s opinion of the probable cost of construction on thisp roject is $116,800.

The Riverdale City Council approved the preparation of plans and specs for bids in the coming months. The process will be overseen by MSA Professional Services as part of their contract with the City.

A copy of the resolution authorizing MSA to seek bids on the project can be found here.

This project is estimated to cost the City of Riverdale $116,800 and should be completed during the summer of 2020. Sanitary sewer work will be performed in the Havens Acres neighborhood and on Fenno and Valley Drives.

At a meeting held earlier in the day, MSA discussed the following items on this project with the City:

•    Plans, specifications and an engineer’s opinion of the probably construction cost have been submitted to the City for approval. The Iowa DNR has issued a permit for the project. A GP#2 permit is not required.

•    The City needs to schedule a public hearing for this project.

•    MSA recommends a winter 2020 bid letting.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they have obtained the project permit from Iowa DNR and now seeks bidding guidance from the City on this project.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they are currently working on a timeline for bidding this project with Administrator Tim Long.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they have applied for a project permit from the Iowa DNR so work can begin this spring. The project is currently in the cue for bidding in January of 2020.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The sub-contractor will be expected to supply all labor, equipment and materials to seal and rehabilitate identified sanitary I&I points in the southern part of Riverdale.


$160,921.50 (may be revised downward)

Public Hearing Date


Project Bid Date:


Project Start Date:

June, 2020

Project Completion Date:

August, 2020




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