South Shore Line double track bids still high, but are now low enough

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
South Shore Line
Bids that came in on Oct. 11 are better than the ones in May for the South Shore Double Track Project.
Indiana South Shore Line

South Shore Line now thinks it’s low enough.

Back in May it was decided to re-bid the South Shore Line’s Double Track project because the prices that came in were well above the engineers’ estimate of $228.6 million. On Oct. 11, the lowest bid of $304.8 million came from the Walsh/Herzog joint venture. That’s still over $70 million over the estimate, but $95 million lower than the May low price of $399.7 million submitted by F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen & Associates. Their revised bid was $322.4 million.

However, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) Board of Trustees pulled items from the job this time around, which might explain the lower bids. The cost for materials including rail, crossties, and signaling wire were not included in the Oct. 11 bids, nor were some professional services. The number of boarding platforms were cut at two of the stations, and a high-level platform was scratched at the Portgage/Ogden Dunes station. The bidders also did not have to include the cost of replacing a bridge and the construction of a storage yard.

The Board will now review the new bids for approval, which should happen in the next 30 days.

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