Don’t expect savings on road projects to help offset our sagging state revenues. Bob Mercer listened in on the South Dakota Transportation Commission’s meeting Tuesday and heard most of the bids for road and bridge projects around the state come in above the engineers’ estimates:
Fourteen of the 16 bids went to contractors whose prices were lower than their competitors but higher than official estimates from the state Department of Transportation staff.
Because they met by telephone, the commissioners’ expressions couldn’t be seen. But their voices at times seemed to reflect unease [Bob Mercer, “Lowest Bids from Contractors Exceeded Estimates on Most of SDDOT’s Projects Tuesday,” KELO-TV, 2019.04.16].
Mercer helpfully links to the project summary sheets for bids opened on April 3 and April 10. The sixteen projects bid and approved this week will cost us $49.2 million, $4.78 million (7.64%) more than the engineers hoped we’d spend on these projects.