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Montana company bids lowest on bridge

Sletten Construction, of Great Falls, is the apparent low bidder on the contract to replace the Dover Bridge in North Idaho.

Bids were opened Tuesday. Work is expected to begin in August on the two-year effort to replace the bridge on U.S. Highway 2 over railroad tracks in the city of Dover.

The bridge has gained national attention for its deteriorating condition. It will be replaced using federal economic stimulus funds.

Though the project will not be officially awarded until a contract is signed with the Idaho Transportation Department, the Montana company’s $21.6 million bid beat those of four other companies, including three from Spokane.

The other bidders were: Max J. Kuney ($22.2 million), Harcon Inc. ($22.4 million), Graham Construction ($22.5 million), all of Spokane, and Morgan & Oswood Construction of Great Falls ($23.6 million).

ITD Project Engineer John Vaudreuil said traffic would continue to use the existing roadway while the new bridge is built.

“There’s a work zone where traffic will be slowed,” he said. However, he said, traffic should be “generally free-flowing until construction of the connecting endpoints.”

The bids came in about 25 percent lower than the estimate, which Vaudreuil said could be attributed to the economy and to clear direction given in bid documents.

“The public is in really good shape with this,” he said. “We’re going to get a new bridge for a good deal.”