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Contractors continue to submit good prices for SD highway projects

PIERRE -- The South Dakota Transportation Commission approved on Friday two more rounds of bids on state highway projects that were much lower than expected.

PIERRE - The South Dakota Transportation Commission approved on Friday two more rounds of bids on state highway projects that were much lower than expected.

The engineer estimates for the six projects totaled about $29 million. The low bids came in about $2.5 million less.

"It certainly seems like competition was good at this point on all the bids," Commissioner Ron Rosenboom, of Sturgis, said.

Commissioner Rod Fouberg, of Aberdeen, asked about a running total on bids for the year.

"It would be interesting to see the whole picture, totally," he said.

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Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said the Department of Transportation staff can "easily put together" such a report for the commission's December meeting.

"Readily available," Bergquist said.

The latest projects fit into a recent trend, according to Mike Behm, the department's director of planning and engineering.

Bids on projects from September through Nov. 2 were approximately $8 million below engineer estimates, Behm said.

Some of the larger projects awarded Friday were:

Surfacing and repairs on eight miles of eastbound lane on Interstate 90 between Murdo and Draper. The estimated cost was just over $12.4 million. The low bid was just over $11 million;

Surfacing and repairs on eight miles of SD 50 east of Yankton. The estimated cost was just under $11 million. The low bid was just under $10.5 million.

Surfacing on 13 miles of SD 63 and part of US 14 in the Midland area. The estimated cost was just under $3.2 million. The low bid was below $2.9 million.

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Intersection improvements at the junction of SD 11 and SD 46. The estimated cost was nearly $1.3 million. The low bid was just under $1 million.

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