The long awaited Shadow Creek sports park hit a snag Monday night when Pearland City Council opted to reject the sole competitive bid and rebid the project.
The $13.36 million bid came in over the city’s $8.5 million budget.
The complex was one of a number of park projects included in a 2007 bond election, but its construction was delayed in the aftermath of economic turmoil.
Though they ultimately voted 5-0 for the staff recommended resolution, it was not without questions and frustration over the planned complex at the corner of Shadow Creek and Kinglsey.
“I can’t imagine there’s $5 million of fluff that’s going to disappear by re-bidding it out,” Councilman Tony Carbone said before the vote.
But staff reported it had since conducted a survey of contractors from a “pre-bid list” that didn’t submit a bid and determined many of them didn’t propose due to a lack of bonding capacity based on their current volume of work. After visiting with them, they said they believe lower bids are available. An additional indication is that 54 percent of the cost above the engineer’s estimate was contained in two bid items that appeared “vastly inflated” above other, recent bid information.
Engineering and Capital Projects Director Trent Epperson said he believed re-bidding could bring the project down in the $9 million range.
“I think this contractor may have been throwing a number at it,” he told the council. “if we can get some of our usual contractors in here and folks we work with, we can see much better numbers.”
While he agreed to the rebidding, Councilman Scott Sherman emphasized that it’s time to get project moving.
“It’s been seven years and I think we owe the residents what they ask for,” said Sherman, who has argued for the complex in past budget meetings.
Councilman Greg Hill tended to agree.
“It’s a tough decision to make,” he said. “The people voted on it; they want it – we ought to do it.”
The park’s construction was bid in April after plans and specifications were completed, with council estimating then that it would take only a month after the award before construction began.
The repackaged bid project will split the on-site work, off-site work, landscaping and will add the amphitheater to the list of add alternate items, staff said.
The new re-bidding process will likely push the beginning of construction from the start of June to mid-to-late June.