LINO LAKES — After bids came in higher than expected, the City Council rejected bids Aug. 26 for the Elmcrest Avenue and Cedar Street improvement project, which had been planned for construction yet this year.

The council previously approved a joint powers agreement (JPA) with the city of Hugo for the paving of sections of 24th Avenue/Elmcrest Avenue and East Cedar Street. Elmcrest Avenue serves as the border between the two cities north of Frenchman Road, and East Cedar Street, which remains largely unpaved, lies within the city of Lino Lakes but is used by drivers of both communities. The JPA outlined that the East Cedar Street improvements would be the financial responsibility of the city of Lino Lakes and the 24th Avenue/Elmcrest Avenue improvements would be the financial responsibility of the city of Hugo.

Four bids were received Aug. 15: the low bid, from T.A. Shifsky and Sons Inc., was $777,552, more than $179,000 above the engineer's estimate for the project.

“The bids were 23% higher than we 

anticipated,” Hugo City Engineer Mark Erichson explained at the Hugo City Council meeting Aug. 19. “These are higher bid prices than we have seen in the past. I am confident that we could get lower bid prices next year, but there is no guarantee.”

Lino Lakes City Engineer Diane Hankee said, “Contractors are very backed up this year. It is recommended to rebid the project this fall for construction in 2020. We anticipate the rebid will save approximately 10-15%.”

The Hugo City Council rejected the bids for the project at its Aug. 19 meeting, but directed staff to continue to move forward with the project by getting bids this fall for construction next spring. The Lino Lakes council chose to do the same.

Lino Lakes Mayor Jeff Reinert said he recently spoke with Hugo Mayor Tom Weidt and that they were both disappointed about the project being delayed. “This has been a long time coming and we were hoping to get it resolved and get it done. It is complicated because it does involve two cities and two counties. We did give a good run at it, but bids came in 23% higher than they should have,” Reinert said. “We are both disappointed this isn't happening now; people have been looking forward to getting this stretch of road done. We are committed to doing this but are going to save taxpayers some money. Hang in there ... another six months and we will get it done.”


Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or

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