Home Indiana News Bids opened for Center Lake Recreation Trail

Bids opened for Center Lake Recreation Trail

Once completed, the Center Lake Recreational Trail will connect all the amenities along Center Lake, from the Buffalo Street interactive fountain and art piece to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources boat launch north of Bixler Park. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union.
By David Slone

WARSAW — Two sealed bids opened Friday for the Center Lake Recreational Trail had base bids slightly under $1 million each, but the four alternate bids could put the project over that if all the alternates are accepted.

After the bids were opened during the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Friday, the board tabled the bids until the May 19 meeting at the request of city engineer Aaron Ott. He said they want to evaluate the bids to determine if they were complete and if there is an awardable bid.

“These were a little bit more complex than just a base bid with all the alternates,” Ott said.

The first bid was from G & G Hauling & Excavating, Warsaw, whose base bid was $993,660.94. The alternate 1 bid was $103,065.30; alternate 2 bid, $162,359.76; alternate 3 bid, $555,283.35; and the mandatory alternate 4 bid was $338,915.57.

R. Yoder Construction, Nappanee, provided a base bid of $899,660. The alternate 1 bid was $75,210; alternate 2, $133,170; alternate 3, $564,524; and alternate 4, $429,736.50.

In June 2022, it was announced that the Sasso family would donate $1 million toward making the Center Lake Recreational Trail a reality.

City Planner Justin Taylor said the Recreational Trail “is a major step in enhancing the lakefront. It involves a trail that goes along the lakefront, much like Winona Lake, but it’s more curve than linear. It meanders along the lake and enhances the beach so it’s more walkable.”

He said it also will provide ADA access to the north side of the Zimmer Biomet Center Lake Pavilion so it will make the whole area nicer.

The trail will be multimodal and wider than a sidewalk at about 10 feet wide. If someone wanted to ride their bike along the trail, the extra width will allow them to do that without being the trail being congested.

The trail will start at the Buffalo Street Plaza, wrap around the southeast side of the lake and go to where the boat launch is near SR 15.

“There is an opportunity for us to add nodes. None are in the plan set that were bid, but we could, in the future, add some sculptural elements or art along the way. But, mainly it’s the trail aspect of it,” Taylor said.

The alternate bids opened Friday involve some piers.

“So we’re looking to put some fishing and docking piers, so one would be on the south side and one would be up by the existing boat launch. People that wanted to fish or interact with the lake could do it off those piers,” he said.

The long-term plan for Center Lake beach includes the removal of the old pier near the pavilion. Taylor said they will have to look at how feasible that would be as removing it will be costly and there are environmental issues to consider.

“The existing pier does have some environmental concerns with E.coli and different things, so we’re trying to mitigate that and remove it. But the removal process of the pier could also cause environmental issues so we have to be very cognizant of that and remove it in a way that’s considering those things,” Taylor said.

Ott did not reveal the engineer’s estimate for the trail project but did say the bids were higher than the engineer’s estimate.

Warsaw Community Economic and Development Director Jeremy Skinner presented a $10,022.32 pay application for ongoing engineering from Structurepoint for the Anchorage Road project to the Board of Works. It is an Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) project. The money will come out of the Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT), but 80% will be reimbursed by INDOT.

The Board of Works approved the pay application.

The project includes redoing and widening Anchorage Road to three roads so there will be a center lane for turning, as well as putting in sidewalks, Skinner said after the meeting.

He said they’re hoping to get the project started in 2024, but INDOT works on the federal funding cycle – from July to July – whereas the city goes from January to December.

“So, it might be bid out next year, but I don’t know. We’re hoping we can get on earlier bidder. We’re going to have the project ready to be bid by the end of this year so that it can be bid early next year. It could be bid late next year. But, depending on when INDOT allows us to go to bid, it could be a 2024 construction, it could start in 2024. It’ll probably be 18 months from start to finish, so even if it starts next year, it’ll going into 2025, or it could be a 2025 construction,” Skinner said.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with Hawk Enterprises Inc. for an amount not to exceed $295,560 for the construction of the downtown street lights replacement. Bids were opened April 6 and the board awarded the project to Hawk on April 21.