Panel OKs $6.5M bid on South Gloster five-laning project

TUPELO – The Major Thoroughfare Committee on Monday reluctantly, but unanimously, accepted a $6.5 million bid for South Gloster Street road work.
It had been submitted by APAC of Mississippi and was the sole bid for the publicly funded project. The original estimate was $4.3 million.
“None of us want a one-bid contract that’s $1 million over our revised estimate and $2 million over the original estimate,” said committee Chairman Greg Pirkle. “This is a very harsh reality.”
Efforts to renegotiate with the bidder were dashed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which said the group may “absolutely not” alter the bid terms, according to Jim Epps of Cook Coggin Engineers.
MDOT has jurisdiction over the road, which is a four-lane highway, and oversees $1.6 million in federal dollars allocated to the project.
Committee members worried that rejecting the bid and soliciting new ones would yield even worse offers. They also risked losing the federal money if they didn’t contract the project out by year end.
The City Council must now accept the bid. If it does, the project could start as early as this summer and would take about one year. It will add a fifth lane to Gloster from Garfield Street to the new state Highway 6 near South Green Street extended.
The Major Thoroughfare Program is a taxpayer-funded initiative to improve the city’s largest streets.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.

Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal