Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Marquette Interchange Construction Conclusion Brings $4 Million Bonus

Now that the media frenzy over the early completion of the Marquette Interchange has ended, Tom Held at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel learns that the contractors a few months ago negotiated a nice bonus should they finish the construction early.

They get $4 million, he reports.

The contractors say the speed-up was to make things easier for the Harley-Davidson anniversary ride headed this way at the end of the month, which the contractors hype as Milwaukee's Superbowl.

The text of Held's Newswatch posting is below:

THURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2008, 12:55 p.m.By Tom Held
$4 million bonus for Marquette freeway job

Marquette constructors scored a $4 million bonus for finishing the core interchange ramps before Aug. 27, securing the cash offered in a contract provision added in early 2008, when the state Department of Transportation recognized the importance of opening the downtown freeway segments before the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary celebration.

The bonus is tacked on to the $315 million the consortium of three large area contractors bid on the original core interchange package in 2005.

With the payment, the final project cost is expected to be about $10 million to $15 million below the $810 million estimate.

Edward Kraemer & Sons Inc. of Plain, Lunda Construction Co. of Black River Falls and Zenith Tech Inc. of Waukesha combined to win the largest piece of the Marquette Interchange project, the work on the core ramps and intersecting freeways.

Ryan Luck, manager of the core construction work for the DOT, said the state negotiated the time bonus with the contractors after recognizing the importance of clearing the interchange for the thousands of Harley riders coming to town for Labor Day weekend.

"That's Milwaukee's Super Bowl," Luck said. "That's an event where we have tens of thousands of visitors."

The bonus clause included a sliding scale for early completion through late October, and $100,000 a day in penalties for each day the project lingered beyond Nov. 10, Luck said.

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