South Dakota Department of Transportation officials have officially chosen a contractor for the demolition of the Crescent Street Bridge in Flandreau.
Robert R. Schroeder Construction, Inc. is a Glenwood, Minnesota-based company. The bid put in by company officials, $375,747 for the work, was the lowest of the six bids submitted for the project. City Administrator, Jeff Pederson, told the Moody County Enterprise that the contract should be signed within the next two to three weeks.
Once that contract is finalized, the Moody County Enterprise is told that a Preconstruction Conference will be held with city officials. Demolition work would begin any time after that with a completion deadline of September 30. The deadline, originally scheduled for this spring, was stretched out in order to provide flexibility to bidders and aid in holding prices down.
While Schroeder Construction came in with the lowest bid by far, documentation showed that it still exceeded the engineer’s original estimate for the work by more than $100,000. The most likely reason for that, city officials believe, is increased labor costs and the lack of efficiency in the overall project. Most often there is also a rebuild of a structure at the same time of a tear down. That is not happening simultaneously with the Crescent Street Bridge.
What will happen at the site remains up in the air.
Flandreau city officials worked out an agreement with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe a couple of years ago that gave the Tribe the authority (for a period of five years) to construct a new bridge over the river at the site of the present one. The City has no information on the status of that effort, Pederson said, and the Moody County Enterprise failed to reach anyone with FSST for comment.
What is known is that the collective community has talked for years about the importance of either a repair of the current bridge or seeing some sort of structure replace the historic road if it did have to go due to structural concerns. Some hope for another vehicle bridge, others are fine with something like the pedestrian bridges so prevalent in other communities.
The City does not intend to replace the bridge, Pederson pointed out, and in fact has foregone the right to access DOT funding for a replacement in return for accepting the grant for demolition.
This is a story that the Enterprise will continue to follow. A more definite timeline for the demolition will follow when dates are set for the work.