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Blue Earth talks streets

BLUE EARTH — Blue Earth City Council members learned at their Monday night meeting the cost for their 2021 street projects is going to be higher than was expected.The bid letting for the Walnut Street Area and Nicollet Street Area Improvement Projects in Blue Earth was held on April 14. One bid was received and came in at 30 percent over the engineer’s estimate.“Based on our review of the bids and discussions with Ulland Brothers, Inc. and other potential bidders, we believe the reasons for the higher than anticipated bids is due to several factors, including an excessive amount of other work in the marketplace, the complexity of the project and most notably, recent construction inflation,” city engineer Wes Brown said.Brown explained further.“We had been hearing for several weeks that plastic pipe and other materials may be limited due to refinery shutdowns related to COVID-19 and the winter storms which hit Texas and other areas in the south earlier this year,” Brown commented. “The bid prices for street related items were all within range of what was estimated. The cost overages are mostly in the pipe items.”Council members expressed their desire to go forward with the project because it was already in the works and it is needed.“The sewer is in bad shape on Nicollet” Public Works director Jamie Holland stated. “I would hate to wait another year to do something.”Because of the failing condition of the Nicollet Street infrastructure, the council voted to accept the bid in the amount of $5,260,697 from Ulland Brothers Inc. and move forward with the projects.

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