The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 4, 2013

BEC Road 17 project bids come in over estimate; Forsberg satisfied

For the second year in a row, Mathiowetz Construction crews will be toiling on major road projects on both the west and east ends of the Mankato-North Mankato community.

Sleepy Eye-based Mathiowetz had the low bid Friday for the reconstruction of Blue Earth County Road 17 (old Highway 14) between Mankato and Eagle Lake, believed to be the largest single construction contract in county history at just under $10.3 million.

The two-year, four-mile project will extend the four-lane portion of Madison Avenue a half-mile farther to the east, reconstruct the highway to and through Eagle Lake, create four new roundabouts and add a bike trail between the two cities.

Mathiowetz’s winning bid was $642,000 lower than the only other bid by Hoffman Construction Co. of Black River Falls, Wis.

Assuming the Blue Earth County Board on Tuesday approves the bid, which was $384,000 above the engineer’s estimate, Mathiowetz workers and equipment will be at work on County Road 17 simultaneously with the company’s second year of construction of the new Highway 14 expansion and interchange on North Mankato’s west side.

That $19 million project, which began last year and is to be completed by fall, adds about two miles of four-lane divided highway west of Lookout Drive and adds an interchange at Nicollet County Road 41 (Rockford Road).

The 2012 construction season also had Mathiowetz building the new $5 million interchange on Mankato’s east side at Highway 14 and Blue Earth County Road 12, a project that included a $4.2 million connection of the interchange to County Road 17.

Brad Ommodt, business development director for Mathiowetz, said the winning bid on this year’s County Road 17 project will make it one of the biggest the company has added to its 2013 construction schedule. And Ommodt said it’s helpful to have two major projects under way in the same community at the same time.

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