SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 22, 2014

Transfer station bids come in too high

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff Writer

---- — MARBLEHEAD — The $15 million project to cap the town’s old landfill and build a new transfer station off Woodfin Terrace will be divided into two separate projects after construction bids came in too high.

The town received four bids for the project on Jan. 10, with the lowest bid being around $17.2 million, according to Andrew Petty, the town’s public health director.

“It doesn’t meet our budget,” Petty said at last week’s Board of Health meeting. He said about $13.5 million is available for the capping and construction of the building, which will include a recycling area, swap shed and compost area. Other approved money has been used for design and hiring of a project manager.

“Obviously, we have to close the landfill, and we have time constraints because we have construction easements,” Petty said.

He said the project will be divided into separate projects — the landfill closure and building the transfer station. The town will seek new bids for the two projects.

“By dividing the work up, we do feel like we should get better bids,” Petty said.

The project was approved by Town Meeting and during a debt-exclusion override vote in 2011. The project still needs several local and state permits for work at 151 Green St., Petty said.

Petty said a small redesign is needed to run the cap under the building instead of surrounding the foundation as previously proposed. Everything else is expected to remain the same, he said.

“We’re not ripping apart the transfer station and redesigning all the stuff and causing big redesign costs,” he said. “We have a design that works.”

Construction is set for June if there are no further delays. They were originally hoping to break ground in March, Petty said.

“We are trying to create as little of a delay as possible,” Petty said. “We need to continue to move forward.”

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.