April 02, 2020

Bids high for transfer bridges at ferry terminal Prock given $10.2 million contract to replace 50-year-old Rockland structure

ROCKLAND – Prock Marine Co. is the apparent low bidder, at $10.2 million, for a state project that would provide two new transfer bridges at the Maine State Ferry Service terminal here.

All four bids opened this week, however, exceeded the budget.

“They’re higher than our estimates,” Paul Pottle, project manager for the state Department of Transportation’s multimodal program, said Friday.

Prock Marine bid $10,279,000; Reed & Reed Inc. of Woolwich, $10,644,005; CPM Constructors of Freeport, $11,378,725; and Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield, $11,738,011.

Pottle has not reviewed the details of the bids, he said, or rechecked state data to ensure its estimate is accurate. Project adjustments or additional funding might be necessary, he said. He did not know when a contract might be awarded.

The project calls for building a new transfer bridge between the existing 50-year-old bridge and the terminal building. Once that is accomplished, the old bridge will be removed and a second new bridge built. The transfer bridge is the land structure used in moving vehicles and passengers on and off ferries.

In the late 1950s, the ferry service provided four or five round trips a day to Vinalhaven and North Haven, Pottle said.

“There’s a much larger demand today,” he added. Now, there are six daily round trips to Vinalhaven and three round trips to North Haven, with more expected in the future. The ferry service also serves Matinicus.

Building two bridges will allow two vessels to be docked at the same time.

If only the existing bridge was rebuilt, service to the islands would have been shut down for a month, he said, which “would be detrimental to the islands.”

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