From The Lansing State Journal:
A new rail and bus station in East Lansing will take longer to build than planned because construction bids came in nearly $2 million over budget.
The $10.5 million project, which would replace the city’s 40-year-old train station near Harrison and Trowbridge roads, will be sent out for new bids after contractors said the work would cost more than the station’s $5 million construction budget, officials said.
Plans have been revised. Officials said they now hope the building will be “substantially complete” by mid-August 2015, said Lori Mullins, East Lansing’s community and economic development administrator.
Demolition of the existing station had been expected to start before the end of 2013, with construction of the new building to start this spring.
The new station will serve as the hub for Amtrak trains and bus service from Greyhound, Megabus and Indian Trails. It will add bus bays and parking spaces for taxis, rental cars and bicycles.
Capital Area Transportation Authority, which manages the station, said adjacent buildings that formerly housed recycling operations for Michigan State University are scheduled to be torn down in mid-July, with construction planned for mid-September.
MSU owns the site and leases it to CATA to manage the station, since the bus agency is the region’s transportation authority.
It will keep a CATA bus stop on Harrison Road, near the train station.
The project already was delayed because grant funds were slow to be released. It’s funded primarily from a federal grant, with matches from Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation. MSU is contributing the site as a long-term lease.
A portion of the grant already has been used for design and engineering work, leaving $5 million available for construction, said Debbie Alexander, CATA’s assistant executive director.
The low bidder, Grand Rapids’ Beckering Construction Inc., said it could do the work for nearly $6.9 million, CATA said.
Two local contractors — Delhi Township-based Laux Construction & Homes and Moore Trosper Construction Co., of Holt — bid $7.5million and $9 million, respectively.
CATA officials adjusted the project to keep costs down, Alexander said. Plans called for demolishing the existing station before building a new one and opening a temporary station for passengers, but CATA officials decided that would have been too costly.
Once the new building is done, Alexander said, the existing building will be demolished and work on the remainder of the site will be completed.
“We want to do the project right,” she said. “It’s a long-lasting facility, and it’s very important to do it correctly. If that means regrouping and making adjustments, that’s what must be done and what we have done.”
New bids are due May 21.