Jan. 19--The city's engineering consultant for the planned Niagara Falls Intermodal Transportation Center has billed the city $350,000 for work related to the rebidding of the next phase of the project.
The city council is being asked to approve the payment in an item that has been placed on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting by Mayor Paul Dyster's administration.
Wendel Duchscherer was forced to scale back work on the next phase of the North End train station project after all bids came in over budget, in part, because of a delay in bidding while the city waited for approvals from federal and state agencies. The original bid was put together during a lull in the construction sector and as that industry grew stronger -- both locally and nationally -- prices for materials and labor increased.
The payment is 85 percent reimbursable through state and federal agencies, according to the agenda item.
Dyster said the city had no choice but to rebid the work with all of the original bids coming in over budget.
"It's taken a long time to get the project out to bid," he said.
Dyster said that while the city had hoped to award the work this fall it will be important to move quickly on the new bid to ensure that work can begin as soon as possible.
"We're determined to get this project done and further delays won't help us," he said.
Councilman Andrew Touma said he plans to vote to approve the payment, though he is disappointed that the original bids came in over budget.
"It's unfortunate that we had to rebid but we have to move this project forward," he said.
While the additional costs are frustrating, Touma said the agenda item represents progress on what he views as an important project for the city.
"I'm glad that it's before us Tuesday so that we can get this next stage moving and get this completed," he said.
Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257.
Copyright 2014 - Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.