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Riverfront plan offers bid options

BY CORIANNE EGAN cegan@paducahsun.com

In two months, the Paducah Riverfront Development Authority hopes to make a recommendation to the city on how to proceed with riverfront development.

That recommendation, however, grew increasingly complicated Wednesday when the bid process came into focus.

PRDA likely will recommend a bid design with several alternative options for each part of the riverfront project when it gives the City Commission its plan in early March. While the authority board took out some key elements that saved money in previous meetings, the latest items on the table have some variables.

"Nothing is going to be as clear cut as whether to keep it or delete going forward," board chairman Bruce Brockenborough said.

One such item is a large stone wall revetment, or giant stone stairs that would serve as a connection between the park and the water. Board members were adamant about keeping it in the plan, but it can be downsized to save money. Original costs were estimated at $435,000, but can be cut, PRDA director Steve Doolittle said. The bid on the project most likely will ask bidders to include a downsized version as well.

Other items that will have alternatives are the fueling stations, sidewalks and parking lots.

At its last meeting, PRDA agreed to build the Schultz Park extension to the height dictated in original planning documents. That would require an additional 65,000 tons of fill to the bump-out, at a low-end estimate price of $780,000. Board member Carla Berry asked Wednesday about the need for the elevation estimations to be checked and rechecked through surveys.

"I want to feel better about this," Berry said. "I don't want to come back with a list of things we should have done. What I don't want to happen is that we recommend spending the money, then the cost grows or the rock settles and there's a need for more and more."

City engineer Rick Murphy said he will consult in the coming weeks with the firm monitoring the bump-out to check on settlement, and the board recommended the city do so again closer to the time it pours additional rock.

PRDA will continue the discussion, which began in October, at its Jan. 22 meeting at City Hall.

Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.

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