Bainbridge awards bid to replace fragile sewer pipes along Eagle Harbor

Work to replace the city’s long-troubled sewer lines along Eagle Harbor will finally begin next week.

The Bainbridge Island City Council this week approved the hiring of Frank Coluccio Construction to take on the replacement of three aging sewer mains that have repeatedly ruptured in recent years and fouled the harbor with untreated sewage.

Frank Coluccio Construction submitted the winning bid of $2,221,765 for the project.

Bainbridge Public Works Director Barry Loveless told the council at its meeting this week the company has a well-established record in the region, and the firm has already preordered pipe for the project and will start work next week.

Just two firms submitted bids on the project. The city was expecting more interest, however, considering that seven contractors had picked up bid packets.

Even so, Loveless said he was satisfied with the selection of Frank Coluccio Construction.

“That doesn’t really disappoint us at all, because I think we have an excellent contractor,” Loveless told the council Monday. “Frank Coluccio has been in business for nearly 100 years in the Seattle area. He’s done many huge jobs; mainly heavy construction, utilities [and] tunneling.”

The city has been working for months to get the project shovel ready. In another bit of good news, Loveless announced that all permits from outside regulatory agencies for the project had been received by July 3.

“We’re ready to go,” Loveless said.

Discussions about next steps have already started, as well. The city held a pre-construction coordination meeting with the contractor Monday, July 7.

“This is a very capable company and they are ready to mobilize almost immediately,” Loveless said of Frank Coluccio Construction.

The company preordered pipe for the project at its own risk prior to landing the contract and will start surveying next week.

Two crews will be mobilized immediately, Loveless said.

Construction activity on the beach starts the week of July 21, though some residents may notice activity on the project ramping up next week.

Part of the area near Eagle Harbor Condominiums will be closed off for construction, Loveless said, and a swath will also be cleared through the edge of the wetlands at Hawley Cove Park to the city’s treatment plant so materials can be brought to the beach.

Loveless said the complexity of the project may have influenced the number of bidders.

“It is a fairly high risk project. There’s a very tight [construction] window; mid July to end of August,” Loveless said.

Work on the beach will also be limited to three or four hours on some days due to the tides.

The other bidder for the project was Redside Construction of Port Gamble. The firm submitted a bid of $2,541,049.

The existing sewer lines were installed in 1979 and officials said the pipes have aged quickly due to their location in the intertidal zone of Eagle Harbor. The pipes’ location in a sort of saltwater soup has prompted three sewer main breaks in the past year that closed local beaches, the most recent in June when as much as 8,000 gallons of wastewater polluted the harbor.

The sewer main replacement effort will be paid for by a Public Works Trust Fund loan that the city obtained from the state in late 2012.

The 20-year loan totals $4.1 million, according to city officials.

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