- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - W.C. Fore is protesting a $44 million contract award to Necaise Bros. Construction Co. for work on the state port’s West Pier because Fore was low bidder on the project.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1pr3Hjz) the state port’s board heard the protest Monday. The board must now decide whether to rebid the project, stand by the contract award to Necaise or give the job to W.C. Fore Trucking Co.

Fore submitted a bid of $43.9 million, which was $126,766 lower than Necaise’s bid. Necaise completed the first phase of construction on the west side of the pier. Fore, also the low bidder on the first project, did not dispute that bid award. Fore told the board that he has completed a total of 35 construction projects at the port over the past 43 years, all on time and within budget.

The contract in dispute is on the pier’s east side. The contractor will elevate the east side of the pier to 14 feet — the elevation reached on the west side — and install rail lines, plus water, sewer, drainage and electrical systems.

The construction is part of a $570 million West Pier restoration and expansion the federal government funded after Hurricane Katrina to create jobs.

The bid protest coincides with the arrival this week of three huge cranes that will be mounted on the rail lines for cargo movement on the West Pier. The cranes were built in China at a cost of about $10 million each.

Jonathan Daniels, port executive director, expects the cranes to arrive by sea Thursday afternoon or early Friday. Daniels also hopes to have an answer by Friday on awarding of the West Pier contract. He expects a special meeting of the board this week to settle the protest.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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