Rehoboth’s canal dock hits roadblock

Vote to award contract canceled after bids come in much higher than expected
January 21, 2020

Story Location:
Grove Park
Rehoboth Beach  Delaware  19971
United States

Higher-than-expected bid proposals have forced a delay on the proposed Lewes-Rehoboth Canal access dock in Rehoboth Beach.

Rehoboth commissioners were scheduled to vote to award the contract for the project during their Jan. 17 meeting. That didn’t happen because bids opened Jan. 8 came in too high and the vote was removed from the meeting agenda.

In an email Jan. 18, city spokeswoman Krys Johnson said three bids were received – Thompson & Sons Contracting Inc. for $1.25 million, JJID Inc. for $1.37 million, and Mumford & Miller Concrete Inc. for $1.89 million. She said the bids came in high because the contractors had several items that were significantly higher than the engineer’s estimate.

This is the second time in the past 12 months estimated project costs have risen. The original project cost came in at $836,000. In July, in an attempt to answer commissioner concerns, approximately $175,000 was added to projected costs, pushing the estimate over $1 million. The added costs were primarily $50,000 for extra lighting, $30,000 for three years of maintenance, $20,000 for security cameras and $22,000 related to protecting a water main crossing the canal before and during construction. Additionally, Johnson said the state fire marshal required a fire suppression system, at an estimated cost of $49,000.

Dogfish Head’s Mark Carter is a member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association, which has been spearheading the project since 2011. In an email Jan. 18, he said projects often increase in price, especially items such as mobilization costs and equipment.

Carter said the improvement association is continuing to press forward with fundraising and is continuing discussions with the city to keep moving the project along.

Rehoboth commissioners are currently evaluating the proposed budget for FY2020-21. As of now, Johnson said, the city has not budgeted funding for the project. 

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