OSAGE COUNTY — Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Transportation Planner Joanie Prenger met with commissioners on Thursday, Sept. 18. They showed her their evaluations of the seven …
OSAGE COUNTY — Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Transportation Planner Joanie Prenger met with commissioners on Thursday, Sept. 18. They showed her their evaluations of the seven engineering firms that submitted credentials. All hope to be hired by Osage County for the Pentecostal bridge replacement project. The span was on CR 611 across the Maries River. She assured them they had done a good job and their notes and numbers made sense.
The result was a unanimous desire to hire Bartlett & West of Jefferson City, provided terms can be reached. McClure Engineering of Macon was a strong second.
Great Rivers Engineering of Columbia and Howe Company of Macon are also very acceptable. Commissioners emphasized that all seven submissions were strong. Any of the companies would be more than able to build an excellent bridge.
Each commissioner had studied alone the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) packages submitted. They had each assigned numerical grades, ranking each for preference. Prenger was impressed they didn’t compare notes until each completed his own process. They were, however, pretty much on the same page.
There was little variation from commissioner to commissioner among those top four selections. “You guys did fine,” she said. “I love that you did it independently.”
Commissioners want a little more information before wading into negotiations. Prenger promised to provide them with some more numbers. Of interest is the average percentage of a total project earned by the engineering firm. To actually win the job, Bartlett & West, or another approached in order of selection, must meet the MoDOT timetable for Bridge Rural Offset (BRO) projects and the county’s budget. “Make sure they understand what you need from them,” said Prenger. “Make sure they can get it done inside the timeline and budget you have.”
Thanks to the settlement of the lawsuit against the trucking company that wrecked the Pentecostal Bridge, matching funds, some American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, and a BRO award, there is money in the bank ready for the building to begin. However, there is only so much of it. Commissioners assume no firm would submit an RFQ without intending to make the budget.
All seven are also well aware of BRO guidelines. Bartlett & West has already done some drawings at the site. They provided a baseline two years ago for negotiating the legal settlement. Commissioners admit that head start was important in their grading.