Bid protest hangs up Langley Marina’s expansion

A formal bid protest has momentarily sunk the expansion of Langley Marina.

A formal bid protest has momentarily sunk the expansion of Langley Marina.

The primary contractor of the second low bid filed the protest with the Port of South Whidbey. The low bid came in at $1.6 million, near the port’s estimate for relocating the breakwater.Ben Watanabe / The Record | The unused breakwater will be moved so it can moor boats at Langley Marina, once bids are approved.

“This is kind of a last-minute, emergency issue,” said Curt Gordon, port president.

Port commissioners scrapped the previous bids and will reopen the bid process April 2.

“The paperwork had technical imperfections that could not be solved,” said Ed Field, port operations manager.

The project has three phases, the $2.4 million first phase of marina expansion includes reconditioning and reconfiguring a 400-foot breakwater with pilings, running supporting utilities and adding an 80-foot gangway to join the existing marina.

“We would expect that the low bidder and presumably many of the others will re-bid.”

Field was in charge of reviewing the complaint. To review the charge, the port requested more information from Mike Carlson Enterprises. The challenge was over the technical qualifications.

“It’s the kind of thing that happens, if not commonly, infrequently,” Field said. “That’s why our engineers review the details carefully. “

Port commissioners met in a closed executive session, citing attorney-client privilege for excluding the public, at the end of their meeting Tuesday.

Advertising for the project will begin March 20, upon the commissioners’ directive.

“Essentially that’s the exact same scope that we did it the first time,” Field said.

Delaying the start of marina work will not extend the completion date, Field said. In-water work has a window between July 15 and Feb. 15, 2014 because of endangered species issues and permits.

“Although it delays the start of construction a couple of weeks, it doesn’t prolong the duration,” Field said.

“We feel we can still get the work done.”

Some added costs will accompany the second bid request. Most of the unexpected fees will be for engineer review by the port’s engineering firm, Everett-based Reid Middleton, Inc.

Upon reviewing the next set of bids, Field will again submit a list of the low bids to the port commissioners.

“The bids need to be responsive, and the bidders have to be responsible,” Field said.