Bids for local street improvements in Alexandria came in lower than expected.

Mark Lee Excavating of Alexandria submitted the lowest bid for the combined 13 projects – $289,482. That’s $41,358 below the city engineer’s estimate of $330,840.

The Alexandria City Council awarded the bid at its meeting Monday night.

In an effort to get favorable bids, the local street projects are bid as separate bid schedules and the amount of projects that are done each year are adjusted to meet the budget.

This year’s total budget for all 13 projects, plus engineering, is $373,548 but $32,572 of that needs to be set aside for the street portion of a project on Woodland Park Drive, which leaves an available budget of $349,976.

The low bid, plus engineering, amounts to $361,052.

So in order to meet the budget, one street project was taken off the list – Nature’s Trail from its west end to Birch Avenue. That brings the total cost down to $335,968.

The other 12 projects that are set to get overlays or have pavement replaced include:

  • Dewberry Lane from Agnes Boulevard to the east end of the road.

  • Brendan Court from Amanda Lane to the east end of the road.

  • Amanda Drive from Agnes Boulevard to Anderson Way.

  • Anderson Way from Voyager Drive to Amanda Lane.

  • Madison Street from County Road 22 to the south end of the road.

  • Ridgewood Drive from Voyager Drive to 175 feet north to South Darling Drive.

  • Sherman Drive from Voyager Drive to 125 feet north.

  • Summer Lane from Scenic Heights Road to Seasons Drive.

  • Seasons Drive from its west end to the Deerwood Drive/Scenic Heights intersection.

  • Wildflower Lane from McKay Avenue to the east end of the road.

  • Ridgewood Drive (a reclaim project) from Voyager Drive to 730 feet north.

  • Kurt Street from Oak Knoll Drive to the Highway 29 frontage road.

The overlays are important because they prevent roads from getting in really bad shape, which would be much more expensive to repair, according to City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven. At past meetings, he’s told the council the local street improvements are “probably the least exciting but most important projects we do.”

In other street related news, Schoonhoven gave an update on other street projects that will go out for bids in the next few weeks:

  • The Deerwood Drive paving project will be bid together with the repaving of Scenic Heights Road. The design of the project is nearing completion.

  • The following street and utility projects will be bid together as one package: 17th Avenue/Cedar Street; Irving Street between 12th and 15th Avenue; Eighth Avenue from Kenwood Street to Nokomis Street; Darling Avenue, from Kenwood Street to Nokomis, and Maple Street, from First Avenue to Kenwood; and Woodland Park Drive from Manor Hills to Kari Street.