PORTLAND — The city got mixed financial news over the last two weeks as bids for two jobs came in well under and well over estimated costs.

The winning bid to extend Thames Street and build a new outfall for stormwater is $425,000 under the estimated $2.35 million cost. The bids were opened Feb. 7.

But bids opened Feb. 14 for a sewer separation project in Bayside in the areas of Kennebec, Somerset and Preble streets were about $500,000 above the city’s estimated cost of $3.45 million.

On Thames Street, where the street will be extended about 350 feet beyond its current terminus near the new WEX headquarters, D&C Construction was awarded the job with a $1.9 million bid, Jim Lobley of the city purchasing office said Feb. 13.

The project, which also includes installing a 60-inch drain pipe and rebuilding the Fore River seawall, drew bids from four companies, with the most expensive from Peters Construction at $3.34 million. All bids included a supplemental bid for some of the storm drain work.

Shaw Brothers and Sargent Corp. also bid on the work. Paving on the street extension must be completed by Sept. 13, according to the contract.

The city has set aside at least $2.72 million for the project, with $1.3 million coming from the current and proposed capital improvement project bond budgets for stormwater work. Those bonds are repaid through revenues from sewer fees and the monthly stormwater fee of $6.30 per 1,200 square feet of impervious surface.

The fiscal year 2020 CIP budget, which includes stormwater work, is scheduled for a City Council vote Wednesday.

The Thames Street extension will extend the road to the former Portland Co. complex at 58 Fore St., where a road linking Thames and Fore streets will also be built.

Contractors will also be responsible for working with the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad on relocating and replacing tracks, according to the request for proposals.


City officials had not responded as of Tuesday about what may occur with the proposed sewer separation work, planned to link stormwater drainage to the system completed last year that extends under State Street and eventually links to an outfall at Back Cove.

While estimating the project cost at $3.4 million, according to the RFP, the city is allocating $4.8 million in the upcoming stormwater CIP for the job.

The low bid opened Feb. 14 was $5.37 million from the Sargent Corp. The bid also includes water main replacements, as does the competing $6.1 million bid from the Grondin Corp.

The companies were the only two of 13 attending a pre-bid conference that then bid on the job.

Plans show the project would encompass the length of Preble Street from Cumberland Avenue to Marginal Way, extend beyond the intersection of Somerset and Elm streets, and link to the State Street infrastructure using Kennebec Street from Pearl Street to Forest Avenue.

The intent is to divert stormwater flow from a combined sewer running to the Portland Water District treatment plant near East End Beach.

The city is under a mandate to reduce the flow of wastewater into Casco Bay, and redirecting stormwater alleviates overflows at the treatment plant during storms.

David Harry can be reached at 780-9092 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The winning bid for extending Thames Street about 350 feet along the Portland waterfront is $425,000 under the $2.35 million estimated cost, and includes stormwater drainage improvements.

A sewer separation project for Bayside will link stormwater drains to infrastructure completed last year, but the low bid was $500,000 more than the city allocated this year.