By Associated Press - Sunday, May 1, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Municipalities in the Bismarck area are getting more bids that are at prices that are more competitive for their construction projects this year.

Linda Oster, a design and construction engineer for Bismarck, said that they “are seeing twice as many bidders across the board.”

“For underground and sewer work, we are seeing two to three times more contractors bidding,” Oster said. “Bids are coming in very good - 10 to 20 percent less than estimated.”

Jim Neubauer, Mandan’s city administrator, said they’re seeing more bidders and that it’s common for bids to be 15 percent to 22 percent lower than engineering estimates this construction season.

The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1qO4ATr ) reports low oil prices are driving product costs in asphalt surfacing and the cost of fuel for building equipment.



“Oil prices are lower and that makes the price for the asphalt product cheaper,” Morton County engineer Mike Aubol said. “There are a lot more contractors available. The lower bidder prices do more for the dollar.”

Aubol said the awarding of county road projects won’t happen until late May.

Burleigh County engineer Marcus Hall said there’s a decrease in costs being seen for Department of Transportation bid lettings, falling by 5 percent to 10 percent. He said a reduction in fuel costs is making it less expensive for contractors.

Contracts are still being estimated high by many municipalities that are also spending conservatively.

“It is hard to do engineer estimates,” Oster said. “We are still keeping them high because, at some point, they will even out.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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