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Mistake Increases Cost for Macomb Project

Rich Egger

How much is a paperwork mistake worth? In the case of a Macomb road project, the answer is about $125,000.

The project calls for improvements to the intersection of Bower Road and Route 136. The work will be paid for by the city, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and a grant through the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP).

The city council discussion during the March 4 meeting

The original low bid of $969,922 came from Laverdiere Construction.

But project manager Eric Moe of McClure Engineering said his firm forgot to include the CDAP paperwork in the bid documents, and the idea of adding the paperwork as a no-cost change order was rejected.

“We were instructed by the grant administration people that that would not be an option,” Moe said.

Instead, the project had to be re-bid. The second time around, Laverdiere increased its bid to $1,108,186, while Gunther Companies slightly reduced its bid to $1,094,551.

Both are well below the engineer’s estimate of $1,232,133. However, that did not placate Third Ward Alderman Lou Gilbert.

“It’s the worst fiasco I’ve ever seen,” said Gilbert.

But City Administrator Dean Torreson pointed out Macomb will not be on the hook for the difference.

“The re-bidding of the project doesn’t make any difference in terms of what the city’s financial commitment to this project is,” Torreson said. “Either way it’s $290,000.”

The CDAP grant is for around $230,000 and the state will cover the rest of the cost, including the increase in price.

Fifth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett pointed out taxpayers will still have to pay more, whether it’s at the local or state level.

“Even if it’s not directly out of our pockets here, it’s still costing taxpayers more. That’s money that could have been put into another project,” Dorsett said.

City council members ultimately voted 7-2 to award the project to Gunther. Gilbert and Fourth Ward Alderman Thomas Koch voted against it.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.