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At $6.5M, Belmar Boardwalk Bid Comes in Less Than Half of Original Estimate

Borough estimated $17 million originally, but Epic Construction gets contract of lowest bidder

Rebuilding Belmar's boardwalk will cost less than half what was originally estimated. The borough approved a $6.59 million contract to rebuild the boardwalk as it was, but with increased hurricane protection.

Belmar planned to spend $17 million to rebuild its boardwalk, destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. On top of the favorable bid, the lowest of 23 submitted, winning contractor Epic Construction could net a $100,000 bonus if the work is complete by April 30.

Mayor and council aim to have the boardwalk open by Memorial Day, in what Mayor Matt Doherty called an aggressive push to be at the front of the line of towns hoping to rebuild their boardwalk.

Epic Construction, of Piscataway, also faces a $7,500 daily penalty for every day after April 30 the work is not done, according to the contract unanimously awarded at Wednesday's council meeting.

The bids ranged from Epic Construction’s low bid of $6.6 million to the highest bid of 19.6 million. 

"Our determination to rebuild quickly has resulted in a robust and fair bidding process that yielded a great price for reconstruction, far below our original estimate of $17 million,” said Doherty. 

He continued, "By being aggressive, we were able to ensure residents and tourists that Belmar will have a boardwalk this summer, and we will build it at the best price possible for taxpayers. In addition, the boardwalk is engineered to 2012 standards that would have survived Sandy. So not only are we doing this quickly and at a great price, we are also building it to last."  

The original estimate of $17 million came from borough engineer Birdsall Engineering's Paul Calabrese, and many of the bids came in around $13 million, Doherty said.

But the borough is obligated to pick the lowest bidder due to state bidding laws, yet is still confident in Epic Construction, said the mayor.

"I did some due diligence, checked out the company further," said the mayor. He praised the company for its work in previous contracts such as the carpentry on the Heildrich Center in New Brunswick.

The bid is for $6,559,440, and is for the rebuilding of the boardwalk only: its pilings, decking, strapping, stairs and ramps. Electrical and plumbing work, benches, and rebuilt pavilions are not included in the project.

Doherty said the priority was simply the boardwalk, in the coming weeks the borough will be exploring how to proceed on the other elements to the boardwalk.

While electric and plumbing is certainly planned for the 2013 Memorial Day target date, seeing pavilions and permanent buildings for concessions will likely come in 2014, Doherty said.

A Resident December 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Low bid....at about half the price of many others.....Good Luck.
Richard Mackay December 13, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Epic is probably only going to be the construction manager. Who is going to do the actual work and is the work going to be performed using Davis/Bacon guidelines. Federally and state funded work must pay prevailing rate by law to the workers. We will see ,won't we.
Don December 13, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I dont understand how a municipality can approve a low bidder who is half the amount of the majority of the builders after a estimate almost 3X as much by a engineer who knows cost per SF required to achieve a boardwalk that will last. There was 1 section of the boardwalk which had hurricane straps, and it survived. That wont be the case with future storms, only way to avoid destruction is to build a bulkhead before the boardwalk to prevent the water uplift. Anyone who doesn't believe me should take a drive up to Asbury where there are no dunes and look at that boardwalk. But I am sure Belmar would rather save $ that do it right.

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