A major reconstruction of the US 24/Green Valley Road intersection is going back to step one after Pottawatomie County commissioners decided Monday to rebid the project.

The move comes weeks after initial bids came in more than 20 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate of $3.3 million. Hamm Construction submitted the low bid in early September, which was just over $4 million.

Public Works Director Peter Clark informed the commission that the Kansas Department of Transportation has agreed to chip in an additional $250,000 to bring its total contribution to $2.75 million. Commissioners Dee McKee and Greg Riat both supported rebidding, with Riat directing staff to check with the state for more funding and look into hiring an inspector.

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Commissioner Pat Weixelman continues to press that the county should ask for as much additional funding as possible, noting the county needs to save where it can.

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A major reason for the disparity in the engineering estimates comes from increased wage rates, subject to the Davis-Bacon Act, for asphalt laborers. As part of the county’s motion Monday, Bartlett and West Engineering Project Manager Nathan Bergman agreed to work with the county to hire an inspector for the project to help offset some of the cost.

In other business Monday, commissioners signed off on three agreements for the eventual construction of a new traffic signal at US 24 and Columbian Road on Wamego’s west side.

Included within that is a three-way contract between the county, Kansas Department of Transportation and the City of Wamego. The county will fund over $22,000 for design and inspection. Commission Chair McKee says the project will improve safety.

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Included in those agreements is the county’s agreement with the Benesch Construction for the project. Public Works Director Peter Clark says the project likely won’t begin construction until fall 2021.


KDOT will fund the new signal up to $572,000, with Wamego sharing in the cost of design with the county, and Wamego taking on ownership and maintenance.

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