SDS still offering contracts

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Workers with HCP Consructors install 66-inch pipes as part of the Southern Delivery System.

The Southern Delivery System could mean big business for local contractors, even though major portions of work have already been promised to out-of-state firms.

That’s because those firms are required to get local subcontractors for some of the work.

So far, Colorado Springs Utilities has awarded $350 million in SDS contacts for work on the pipeline that will carry water from the Pueblo Reservoir to Colorado Springs.

SDS Phase 1 construction is scheduled from 2010 to 2016, and construction costs are estimated at $550 million, including $160 million in labor costs. An average of 380 workers will be required.

At its peak, the first phase will have 700 workers building the pipeline and water treatment plant.

Right now, there are about 200 people at work on the project.

Springs Utilities conducted the permitting process years ago, and it is beginning its second year of construction. So far, the project is on schedule and on budget.

“It’s a great time,” said project manager John Fredell. “We’ve gotten very good finance rates, and it’s a good time for construction materials. So, we’re moving along.”

Crews have put in four miles of pipeline in El Paso County — and building connections with the Pueblo Dam. Altogether, there will be 62 miles of pipeline and a water treatment plant. The nine miles of pipeline in El Paso County will be completed “well before the end of the year.”

Local contractors have played a role in laying the El Paso County portion of the pipeline.

R. E. Monks is doing excavation work for the pipeline.

“We were happy to get the contract,” said Vice President George Wehner. “It was important to us. We’re trade partners with the group laying the pipe so it’s a good fit.”

R.E. Monk is only doing excavation for one segment. Work on other segments will go to bid, said Springs Utilities spokeswoman Janet Rummell.

When they are all working, Monks has eight men on the job, for a contract that is worth $750,000.

Pipe is being laid in Pueblo County as well. Contractors are working on the SDS connection to the Pueblo Dam and will finish it this year. Contracts also began installing pipeline in Pueblo County, starting construction on a four-mile section of pipe later this month.

While the project has its detractors, Fredell said those people aren’t considering the reach of the job. The 66-inch diameter pipeline material is manufactured in Colorado and Texas.

“That’s every 50 feet of pipeline along the entire 62-mile route,” he said. “That means we’re giving contractors jobs, and we’re giving truckers a job. It’s nice to know how far this project reaches.”

It will reach to local businesses, if they are interested.

Rummell said Springs Utilities has been reaching out to local contractors and suppliers for years — in order to spread the available projects among as many local companies as possible.

McCarthy Building Companies will be building the water treatment plant, the largest and most complex component of the project. Construction of the plant is expected to cost $100 million.

“They are asking for information from local contractors, so when the time comes, they’ll know who to send the bids too,” she said. “This is a huge company, so they want to know who’s who in the local area for subcontractors.”

How to bid on SDS work

McCarthy Building has scheduled an informational workshop for businesses interested in bidding on Southern Delivery System contracts.

The first session is scheduled from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 16 in the Pikes Peak Room at the CSU Leon Young Service Center, 1521 South Hancock Expressway.

Contractors and suppliers can register to receive future bid information at www.mccarthy.sdswathertreatmentplantproject.com.

For information about the SDS pump station design-build contract, visit the SDS website at www.sdswater.org.

Information for all Springs Utilities projects, contracts and bids is available at www.rockymountainbidsystem.com. Businesses can register on the site to receive project and bid notifications.