Pelham Road Bridge/Dam Project Washed out by Costs

July 11, 2014
by Len Lathrop

The Town of Hudson has been working to replace the bridge on Pelham Road near the Nottingham West Elementary School which is undersized for the flow of the second brook.  If you remember, in the 2005 Mother’s Day storm the road washed away.

Well, the project was washed out at the July 8 selectmen’s meeting when town Engineer Laurie Stevens presented to the board that there was only one bidder on the project and that lone bid of $885,902 was $300,000 over the estimated costs submitted by the CLD engineering firm who were paid to develop this project.

As this is a project with the State of New Hampshire receiving a State Aid Grant it is an 80/20 cost split between the state and the town.

When asked by selectmen why so much higher than anticipated, Stevens spoke of the biding timeframe being late in the construction season with contractors already booked up with other projects and the need to do the work in July and August when the water flow in the brook was the lowest as that flow would have to be diverted.

This replacement project has had many roadblocks since it started, everything from the question of whether it is a dam or a bridge.  Might sound like a simple question but it wasn’t.  Also, what NH department was the licensing agency for the permits required?  NHDOT handles the bridge portion and NHDES must review and approve the wetlands work in and around second brook.

Selectman Maddox asked how there could be such a difference between the estimate and the bid.  Stevens spoke of the issue of having only one bidder and the timeframe of the Request for Proposal.

Selectmen voted to reject the current bid, as there was no funding for that amount and to plan to rebid in the fall.