State may lower requirements for Wilson Bridge bidders

March 13, 2002|By Marcia Myers | Marcia Myers,SUN STAFF

Maryland officials are considering reducing the performance bond and minority participation requirements for contractors on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement project in order to attract more bidders for the job.

Those items are among issues listed in a report released yesterday that explains why the state received only one bid for the project.

The $860 million bid by a consortium of three major construction firms was about 75 percent higher than the state's estimate for replacing the structure. The bridge carries Interstates 95 and 495 across the Potomac River between Oxon Hill and Alexandria, Va., and is a vital link for commuters.

An eight-member committee of construction experts analyzing the bid, found contractors chose not to bid primarily because of a competing project on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, union work requirements and other issues. But contract revisions could help lure them when it is rebid in coming months, the committee said.

The state would incur little risk by cutting the bond requirement in half, according to the committee. The state also might reduce the 25 percent minority participation requirement. On large projects, 10 percent is typical.

State Highway Administrator Parker Williams also is considering breaking the project into several jobs to appeal to smaller contractors.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.