No bids received for 10th Street bridge project

Efforts to save the 10th Street Bridge are continuing, but a recently advertised project received no bids.

The project to install pre-case concrete railings across the bridge is funded by Preservation Cascade, Inc., a local nonprofit, but the contracting runs through the City of Great Falls. No city funding would be used for the project.

The project specifications were advertised three times in the newspaper but no bids were received by the Sept. 4 deadline.

City staff is recommending that the City Commission readvertise and rebid the project, which is phase three of historic preservation of the bridge.

Under state law, commissioners may postpone awarding a contract until the next regular meeting after bids are received in response to the advertisement; reject any or all bids; or readvertise.

Since no bids were submitted, staff recommends discussions with potential bidders and possibly reformatting the project, according to the staff report.

Staff would then readvertise and rebid the project in October.

Preservation Cascade is attempting to add safety railings/balusters across the deck to have a celebration of the 100th birthday of the bridge on Aug. 20, 2020. The cost is an estimated $200,000, according to the non-profit’s newsletter.

Since the beginning of their campaign to “Buy a Yard” of railing at $250 per yard, Preservation Cascade has raised more than $135,000, according to their newsletter.

Over last 20 years, Preservation Cascade has completed more than $1 million worth of restoration including repaired, protected and illuminated the bridge’s iconic arches, re-constructed a model arch to provide a place to stage events, resealed the deck, connected the north end of the bridge to River’s Edge Trail and installed informational signage. The work has been done with private funds, no city funds are used for bridge restoration.