County approves last two bids for new jail

Published 7:32 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The last two remaining bid packages for work at the new jail and justice center were approved Tuesday by the county board.

Minnesota Chemical Company will receive roughly $37,000 to install laundry equipment, while Rochester-based Whitewater Wireless will install a jail radio system for roughly $61,000.

Both deals were handled as quotes rather than bids because they were less than $100,000, and both came in under estimates.

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They join about 30 other bids that were awarded in March for jail and justice center work to the tune of roughly $20 million, county coordinator Craig Oscarson said.

Road expected to close briefly

As work progresses at the new jail and justice center, crews will have to block off Second Avenue Northeast for a few days this month to connect the new building with the geothermal well going in across the street.

Oscarson said the road will likely be cut into at surface level to allow the pipe through.

The coordinator also said that First Street Northeast, which has served as a construction staging area, should be paved by the end of the year but is expected to remain closed to the public.

Other construction updates

Oscarson said KKE Architects have told him that the construction phase of the new jail and justice center is 30 percent complete.

The building is supposed to be closed off by November as interior work continues. Oscarson said the recent rain has slowed progress some, but workers were already a few weeks ahead of schedule.

The geothermal well field is also expected to be filled and covered with gravel by the end of the year, though it likely won’t be paved until spring.

The area will eventually serve as parking for the new jail and justice center.