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Published: Thursday, 4/30/2009

Fremont, Canton firms win $63.9M bid for U.S. 24 work

A month and a half later than planned, the Ohio Department of Transportation has awarded its contract to build part of the new U.S. 24 between Waterville and Napoleon.

The $63.9 million winning bid for the eastern third of the new road goes to Mosser Construction Inc. of Fremont and Beaver Excavating Co. of Canton, the same joint venture that appeared to have won the job in early March.

The most recent bid was almost $5 million less than the two firms' earlier proposal, but for motorists, the savings will come at a price: The new highway won't open until early 2012, instead of November, 2011.

The transportation department rejected the bids it opened last month because of an error in calculating the amount of earth to be moved during construction of the highway between existing U.S. 24 east of Waterville and Hertzfeld Road in Providence Township.

The Mosser-Beaver venture's initial bid of $68,894,838.58 was only about $7,000 less than Oregon-based E.S. Wagner's bid for the project.

And while the two firms' new proposal was considerably lower, at $63,924,749.72, ODOT engineers have lowered their estimated cost for the project, from $88.4 million to $75.3 million.

Construction is to begin in June.

The startup delay is sufficient to keep earthwork originally set for completion this year from being finished before next year, said Theresa Pollick, an ODOT spokesman in Bowling Green.

That delay will keep the new road from opening in 2011, as previously announced, she said.

The transportation department also has pushed back the bid opening for a contract to build the new U.S. 24 between Hertzfeld and Henry County Road 4A. That contract, previously scheduled for award last week, will be awarded May 14, Ms. Pollick said. Its completion deadline will be in 2013, but that includes landscaping work to be done after the highway's 2012 opening.

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