WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Higher Cost for Repairs

Aug 30, 2012

It could cost Lee County much more than anticipated to repair a well-traveled road.

A stretch of River Road, between Keokuk and Montrose, had to be closed in June 2010 because of a landslide.

County Engineer Ernie Steffensmeier says the lowest of three bids for a permanent stabilization plan came in at just over $1-million.

He believes the bids are accurate based on the fact that all three are within 10% of each other.

Steffensmeier told the Board of Supervisors, earlier this week, the original estimate for the project was around $540,000.

He did not explain to the board why the original estimate and the low bid were so far apart.

The federal government has said it would cover $350,000, due to the emergency nature of the repairs.

Steffensmeier says the county’s share would have been about $190,000, based on the original estimate, but because of the bids, the county will now have to come up with nearly $700,000.

The increased county expenses could lead to upcoming road and bridge projects being delayed.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the hillside repair next week.