HELEN, Ga. – The company that once contracted with the City of Helen to build a pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River along Main Street for $586,022 will now have to charge taxpayers and additional $37,000 for the same project, thanks to costly federal regulations.
Helen City officials witnessed the opening of the winning bid Thursday. The lone bidder was Square Deal Enterprises, the same company that council had approved for the work on June 6. Only this time the bid had increased to $623,022. Council was forced to rebid the project because it is being funded, in part, by federal Transportation Enhancement dollars through the Georgia Department of Transportation and the original bid did not include a provision requiring a portion of the work to be completed by minority or woman-owned business.
The bridge will connect the sidewalks that front The Castle Inn and Café International and is identical to the bridge that exists in front of Paul’s Steakhouse on the opposite side of Main Street.
Four companies submitted bids on June 6, but only one bid met the federal requirement and it was $270,000 higher than Square Deal’s bid. The council then had to choose between accepting the higher bid or rebidding the project and they chose the latter.
Square Deal was the only contractor to submit a bid Thursday. The engineer will now analyze the latest bid and council will vote to approve it a second time before it is forwarded to GDOT for their approval.