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Train Station Work Comes in Too High, Will be Rebid

Proposed train station bids came in at higher than expected...

The 400 or so odd pages of drawings and specifications that were part of the comprehensive bid package for contractors for the proposed Intermodal Train Station attracted three bidders, but none of them are acceptable to the city and the contract will be rebid.

The reason: they came in too high, about $2.5 million too high.

When completed, the Niagara Falls train station is expected to service around 125 passengers per day, according to projections told to the Niagara Falls Reporter by City planner Thomas DeSantis.

It was expected the station would cost $25 million to build.

The low bid came in at around $27.5 million, according to Sue Sherwood of Wendell Engineers.

The plan now, according to Sherwood, is to tweak the specifications and put it out to bid again.

"The bidding documents that we put out were conservative," Sherwood said, "to protect the city, so there wouldn't be any unknown cost overruns. But the bidding climate right now is not as competitive and the numbers came in much higher than what we felt was appropriate."

Sherwood also said that the costs for soil contamination - which is variable depending on how much is found - was out of line with the industry standards.

The 20,000-square-foot train station, it is hoped, will not only house Amtrak but office tenants, a restaurant, and recreational users.

The station is designed to accommodate up to 300 passengers per day. Amtrak is currently averaging 68 passengers per day at its location on Lockport Rd.

A Project Labor Agreement between the city and the state ensures that the station will be built with at least 50 percent Niagara and Erie county labor.

Laborers Local 91 Business Manager Richard Palladino said, "Realistically, if you're lucky, 20 percent of the workers will come out of Niagara Falls."

Sherwood said that although the low bid came in at around $27.5 million, all three bids were very close and she said that a rebid should bring in a low bid of $25 million.

"The numbers did not come in where we were comfortable," Sherwood said. "If we put it out to bid again, it could be better."

Sherwood said she would expect to open the new bids before the first of the year, start construction in the spring, and that the station would be operational by the end of 2015.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

OCT 01, 2013