WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Users of the city’s Hike and Bike trails may have to wait a bit longer to use the next section of the Circle Trail.
City councilors have rejected all bids for the construction of the new trail on Loop 11. After bids for the construction came in at almost $1.5 million higher than the original estimate of $2.2 million for this section of the Hike and Bike Trai, councilors were forced to reject them.
State law prevents the city from adjusting a project’s costs by more than 25 percent, and after talking to the lowest bidder they still were unable to get the bid down within that 25 percent.
City manager Darron Leiker said in the three years since the original cost estimate there are a couple of reasons why the bids were higher.
“As we all know, we’ve had a lot of cost inflation over the last three years. And then, we’ve also been told that steel prices have really shot up, partially due to the trade issues with China and the tariffs that have been put in place. So those are the factors that really resulted in much higher bids. A third thing I would mention is just the access. To get to that linear trail, which would be down along the river would subject the contractor’s equipment to possible flooding and so forth. ” City manager Darron Leiker said.
The next step for councilors will be to review those original plans and look for ways to cut cost, perhaps even shortening the length of the trail, and then putting it out to bid again.
Funds for the project come from 80% of state grants and 20% matching city 4B tax funds.