Press "Enter" to skip to content

Competitive Bidding Keeps Rochford Road Cost Down to 35% Above Estimate

Construction costs are up all over, but at least the Rochford Road rebuild drew some competition to temper inflation:

It will cost about $6 million more than state officials expected to realign and pave a 10-mile gravel stretch of Rochford Road through the central Black Hills.

The South Dakota Transportation Commission on Thursday awarded the project to Loiseau Construction. The Flandreau-based contractor bid $23,381,920.13.

That was 35% more than the state Department of Transportation’s estimate of $17,273,986.60, but less than the $35,714,263.36 bid submitted by Oftedal Construction of Casper, Wyoming.

They were the only bidders [Bob Mercer, “Rebuild of Rochford Road Gets the Green Light,” KELO-TV, 2023.03.30].

Loiseau’s 35% over estimate beats Oftedal’s 106%. Maybe we should offer Loiseau some of the work on Game Fish & Parks’ big new shooting range, for the construction of which land-seller and sole bidder Jim Scull is charging 91% more than the state’s project estimate.

The Rochford Road rebuild was one of eight projects approved by the Transportation Commission on March 30. All eight projects received multiple bids. Oftedal’s overrun was an outlier; no other bidders exceeded the state’s estimates by more than 20%, and several bids came in under estimate. So inflation apparently hasn’t driven every contractors expenses up 91% over the last couple years, just Jim Scull’s.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-04-10

    Lawrence County only got one bid to chip seal the North Rochford Road to the Pennington County portion because the labor force consists of migrants. No doubt that Flandreau firm will stumble, too.

  2. grudznick 2023-04-10

    Mr. Scull seems a shrewd businessman, indeed.

  3. All Mammal 2023-04-10

    Make the F3 gold mining company pay for the road. That’s what it’s for. They should pay for what their payload will tear up.

  4. Donald Pay 2023-04-10

    All Mammal is correct. The US Forest Service needs to start taking responsibility, as well, for their lack of regulation and adherence to environmental laws. This road degradation was completely foreseeable, but the Forest Service failed completely to disclose this impact as required by the National Environmental Protection Act. I would make the US Government responsible for putting the road back, but not pave it. There is absolutely no reason to pave that 6 mile stretch. Then they need to kick the mining company out.

  5. nesd 2023-04-10

    Is the problem because the bids are high or because government officials are not very good at estimating costs or taking into account ever higher inflation? The amount of willing workers available to produce most all goods and services in the state is a factor that must be considered when so few bids are received for state projects.

  6. All Mammal 2023-04-10

    They are practically schmoozing the mining company to terrorize our forest and it’s flora and fauna denizens. It is appalling F3 was given a categorical exclusion from doing any environmental impact studies. As much as I wish it weren’t the truth, we rely on our federal government to stick up for us out here in SD, land of the thief, home of the snake. Our only hope stopping this will be if the feds step in.

  7. Mark Anderson 2023-04-10

    Scull must be related to our last plumbing company we had in. Three times and the overruns kept building. Must have been like South Dakota Republicans. We did end up canceling them. Republican’s always complain about that.

  8. larry kurtz 2023-04-10

    Oftedal could do this project in its sleep and obviously doesn’t need the work or their bid would have been cheaper. That Flandreau company is already over its head on that road.

  9. Bob Newland 2023-04-10

    Mammal. using “snake” as a pejorative is reptiliophobic. I would use “lower than a snake’s belly,” were it any of my business. But then, should scoundrels be viewed favorably in a showdown between them and dirt? Now that I think about it, “snake” is fine.

  10. All Mammal 2023-04-10

    I actually do like snakes a lot, Bossman. Especially that Don’t tread on me rattler. Let us go with referring to those skanks as ankles because ankles are much lower than the asss. Skankles?

  11. leslie 2023-04-12

    pave paradise. Will Pe Sla’ benefit?

    Prevent dust but it is otherwise pristine, “remote, rocky” and unnecessary access construction: “DOT and the county have been planning the project since 2005. The funding has always been the issue and how to get this thing paid for…
    described the project as “essentially” a full reconstruction.”

  12. leslie 2023-04-12

    grdz, trump is a shrewd businessperson too. not much to admire. still an immoral idiot.

  13. bearcreekbat 2023-04-12

    As leslie points out, reducing or preventing unnatural increases in dust seems pro-paradise. Building a dirt or gravel road through beautiful land seems to be the process that begins to undermine a particular paradise. Paving that road afterwards, however, would seem to be an improvement for the reason leslie points out. And if human accessibily without causing further damage is better for paradise, then a paved road seems an improvement over gravel or dirt roads, which tend to draw ATV’s and 4WD’s that can cause even more damage if they go off the main road. Thus paving projects could well be much more of a benefit than detriment to paradise.

  14. Arlo Blundt 2023-04-12

    I used to drive the old road in the 70’s and it was always a lot of fun with plenty of opportunity for exploring. Opening up the Central Hills to more development and tourism was just a bad idea, period. “You won’t know what you’ve lost til its gone” Joanie Mitchell

  15. leslie 2023-04-13

    Greg Brown, Iowa’s “Bob Dylan” and his slide guitar rattlesnake companion Bo Ramsey have strong feelings about where conservatism is taking the nation, “down in the weeds”, destroying everything. Professor Newquist notes: “He wrote much material that celebrated life in Iowa, but he said he can’t celebrate it anymore. One line from “The Iowa Waltz,” which he wrote is “‘We take care of our old/We take care of our young.” He says that’s not true anymore. And he said he’d move out of Iowa if he wasn’t so old. He told the Cedar Rapids Gazette: “Iowa has turned into a toxic mess due to the Republican administration. The water is some of the worst in the country. Our schools used to be respectable, including the college (University of Iowa) but those schools now are in the middle of the pack or are lower. People still say that Iowa feeds the country. Well, I hope the nation loves high fructose corn syrup and ethanol because that’s what we’re making here.”

    In commenting on Brown’s assessment of Iowa, the Storm Lake Times Pilot editor said of Iowans, “we look like stupid and cruel hicks.” But, of course, Iowa is not the only place experiencing a deterioration of its state ethos. Continuing, the Professor adds:

    ,,,more than two-thirds of Americans are dissatisfied with abortion laws with many considering it a constitutional right that should be left to individuals and their doctors to decide, a large faction of the GOP is expending maximum efforts to ban abortions even as a life-saving measure for the mother. These same people refuse to address the mounting deaths by gun violence and the killing of children in schools. They are not people with whom intelligent discussion and compromise are even possible. The talk of unity with them is absurd. What person of conscience and good purpose wants to associate with them? Reconciliation with malevolent idiots is like trying to compromise with rattle snakes. Facts and reasoning cannot penetrate the reptilian cortex which is where they do all their thinking. If you can call it that.”

    Both Scull’s gun palace ethos and the vision of the complete re-build of the Rochford Road to Paradise are beacons to South Dakota’s “stupid and cruel hicks”.

Comments are closed.