Bid rejected for Airport Hangar and Terminal Building Project

By Denise Lana,

A public hearing was held during the Decorah City Council’s May 15 meeting to discuss bids for the Decorah Municipal Airport Corporate Hangar with attached Terminal Building Project. 

Plans and specifications were approved in early May, but no award was granted at that time. Contractors were given an extension to put together bids for the project, resulting in only one contractor submitting a bid for consideration. The initial engineer’s estimate was $1.8 million, with a recent re-estimation of $2.33 million. Wicks Construction submitted a bid of $2.74 million, but that bid would cover construction costs only.  

According to City Manager Travis Goedken, the city does not have the funds to cover a bid difference of this magnitude.  

“With $857,494 over the initial estimate, we would have to make up the difference by local match or grant funding,” Goedken explained.  

Dave Jones with McClure Engineering addressed the council, explaining that he has seen the same issues come to light with several other airport hangar projects, citing the increased prices of steel and fiberglass as the main culprits of exorbitant cost increases. Jones added that an estimated 50 contractors were contacted regarding the project bids, and although there was a great amount of interest from subcontractors, no contractor came forth to submit a bid.  

Options were discussed, including getting rid of the terminal portion of the project and focusing on the hangar only, or possibly varying the terminal portion to a smaller footprint.  

The bid was ultimately rejected unanimously by the council due to being 46 percent higher than what was budgeted.  The project will proverbially be sent back to the drawing board for review and possible redesign.

Submit A Comment

Fill out the form to submit a comment. All comments require approval by our staff before it is displayed on the website.

Notify of
2 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Seems more likely that the City had exorbitant requirements to bid on the project, which is more so the case for these type of projects than “material increases”. If you want things to get built on budget, stop requiring Contractors to jump through a million hoops.

1 year ago

Dear all,
How can I access to the requirements? Are they still available?
Thank you.