Background Documents (July 2007 & Earlier)
Over the last month, bids were solicited for the Sewer Lake Line and Pump Station 4 Replacement Project, and results were presented at the City Council Meeting on July 16, 2007. The project will replace a 9,000-foot-long segment of sewer line located along the north and northwest shoreline of the Island and replace Pump Station No. 4. The line, installed in the mid-1950s and constructed of asbestos-cement is deteriorating. From preliminary design through final design, staff and the Lake Line Projectís consultant team have shared the overriding goal of creating a new section of Lake Line that would be highly effective in serving the large number of residents whose waste water it would receive and protecting Lake Washington Ė but at the same time would be affordable for the Islandís ratepayers. Recognizing that contractors would see the project as potentially risky, a number of steps were taken to keep costs in check.
While the numerous factors that affect the bidding climate for major public works projects in this region have been a cause for concern over the past couple of years, the more than $10 million gap between the low bid and cost estimate was staggering. Only two contractors submitted for the bids for the project. The construction cost estimate, prepared less than two months ago, placed the project at just under $15 million. The lowest bid was for over $27 million. Based on these bids, the Utility Board, staff and the consultant team recommended that Council reject all bids and requested time to analyze why the bids came in so much higher than the engineerís estimate, and to determine whether this project should be re-bid and when. Due to the limited time between the bid opening and the deadline for preparation of the agenda bill for the July 16 Council meeting, only limited information could be gathered.
Several tasks were identified including talking with bidders to understand what risk and other factors they saw in this project that generated the high costs, discussing with the other contractors who purchased the bid documents and find out why they chose not to bid this project, reevaluating the bid package to determine if there is a strategy for re-bidding the project, and evaluating the timing and construction schedule of the project if it is re-bid and determine the impact this might have to the approved permits that were received. It was also recommended to evaluate the funding available for the project and the impact a construction delay may have on the Public Works Trust Fund (PWTF) $7 million loan and the impact on utility rates if the project moves forward.
Council debated and discussed the recommendations. Council did not direct staff to complete all six action steps outlined in the agenda bill and presentation, but directed staff to return to the City Council on September 17, 2007 and report on whether laying and anchoring the pipe on the lake bottom is a viable option for the Sewer Lake Line Project. Council also directed staff to report on pump station bid scope and bid structure that will significantly reduce the pump station project costs.
Click here to read the July 16, 2007 Agenda Bill
September 2006 Update
March 28, 2006 - Public Works Trust Fund Loan Awarded
On March 28, 2006, Governor Gregoire signed HB 2544a, a bill which approves $181.7 million in Public Works Trust Fund loans to finance 51 critical infrastructure projects for local governments statewide. Included in the list of projects awarded loans is the Mercer Island Sewer Lakeline Replacement Project for a loan amount of $7,000.000. The projects approved by the Governor and state legislature are critical investments that provide significant economic and construction-related employment benefits.
December 6, 2005 - Army Corps Issues Public Notice
The US Army Corps of Engineers issued a Public Notice of Application for Permit for the city's Sewer Lake Line Replacement Project. A copy of the notice is available by clicking the link below. Additional information is available on the US Army Corps website at http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/.
September 2005 - Updates
March 9, 2005 - Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS)
The City issued the FEIS on March 9, 2005 for the proposed Sewer Lake Line Replacement Project. Copies of the FEIS are available for review at the City and the Mercer Island Library.
October 11, 2004 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
The CIty of Mercer Island issued a DEIS for the Sewer Lake Line Project. A copy of of Chapter 1 from the DEIS is available by clicking the link below. Full copies of the DEIS are available for reviewing at City Hall or the Mercer Island Library.
December 2, 2003 - Lakeline Project Open House
On December 2, 2003, the City of Mercer Island held an open house for the residents who will be impacted by the upcoming lakeline replacement project. The information that was presented at this meeting is available by clicking the links below.
November 26, 2003 - Public Notice