Re-gifting: Bids out again for Second Causeway

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The town missed a deadline so the bidding process for a major project must begin again.

The gift of a second chance came two days after Christmas for construction companies seeking town business.

The Town Board at its December 27 meeting unanimously passed a resolution restarting the bidding process for a major project of erosion control and repairs for the Second Causeway. It had seemed to be a neatly wrapped up deal, with the board awarding the job to Cutchogue-based Corazzini Asphalt on a bid of $507, 822. The low bidder, South Fork Asphalt, based in Southampton, which bid $376,670, had paperwork and documentation problems, and was rejected, as was the high bidder, Westhampton’s Chesterfield Associates, which came in with an offer of $639,000.

But a missed deadline by the town to advertise for the job in the New York State Contract Reporter — a requirement set by the state — has moved the process into back-to-the-drawing- board territory.

The project calls for reinforcing the Coecles Harbor beachfront with stone gambions, covering them with sand, relandscaping and replanting the area and paving the road.

Public Works Commissioner Jay Card said after the meeting that getting the ad into the state newspaper was a complicated process and with paperwork moving between his office, the town engineer John Cronin and the town clerk, the ad didn’t make it into the trade paper.

With more information in the mix, the bidders have new challenges, Mr. Card said. “Corazzini is going to have to think whether or not South Fork is going to do the paperwork properly and come in at that lower number, so [Corazzini] will have to sharpen its pencil some.”

Chesterfield, the high bidder, will also most likely recalibrate its numbers with a new opportunity to bid, Mr. Card said.
Supervisor Jim Dougherty didn’t see the do-over bids as necessarily an advantage for the town, but added, “I think it all depends on how much [the contractors] need the work. I don’t see a peppy economy out there.”

Mr. Card said the new bids are due back to the town by January 25 and will be opened as soon as they’re filed. The bids will then be sent to Cashin Associates, the Hauppauge engineering firm planning erosion control work on the Second Causeway for the town. Then Mr. Card and Mr. Cronin will meet and discuss the bids, before the New York State Department of Transportation weighs in. “We can then get a quick determination who we can award,” Mr. Card said.