Warren County Supervisors vote on $1.6 million paving project

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted on Monday to accept a bid for $1,620,956.50 to implement a significant portion of the county’s road paving plan.

The contract was awarded to Central Asphalt, the low bidder. County Engineer Keith O’Keefe reviewed the bid and recommended the award of contract to the Board in that amount. The only other bid, from APAC Mississippi, Inc., came in at more than $100,000 higher and was rejected by the Board of Supervisors.

The project will be paid for with American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds.

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Both of these bids, as explained by engineer Brian Robbins during the board’s June 27 working session, were higher than originally anticipated. The Board had previously allotted $2 million of its ARPA funds for the 2022 paving plan.

“(The bids) were well above the estimated cost. In the normal pattern of things lately, the estimate was $1,079,000 and the lowest bid was $1,620,000,” Robbins said at the time. “… Gas, it’s all driven by gas. We’re dealing with oil products, so it’s all just going to go up.”

The increase in cost, coupled with the lack of bids for a portion of the 2022 Warren County Paving Plan, presented a challenge for the Board of Supervisors.

The original schedule for the Warren County Paving Plan was to complete 8 miles of overlay and spot paving work on county roads and then to use double-bituminous surface treatment (DBST) to pave 22 miles of unpaved county roads by the end of the year.

O’Keefe said DBST differs from traditional asphalt surfaces in that it’s intended for use on low-volume unpaved roads. It’s also less expensive than using asphalt to pave an unpaved road.

However, the county did not receive any bids for the DBST portion of the project.

“There’s only a handful, maybe two companies, that do that kind of work,” Robbins told the board. “It’s not unusual; there’s just not a lot of people that do it, and if they don’t have room or staff to do it, they’re not going to put up a bid for it.”

The Board of Supervisors is planning to re-bid the DBST project in August of this year, Board President Kelle Barfield said following Monday’s meeting, and aims to give contractors a solid two months to get at least a portion of the unpaved roads in the county paved by the end of the year.