City selects engineering firm to manage overpass project

A national engineering firm which has a Columbus office has been selected as the city’s project manager for an estimated $30 million railroad overpass project at the State Road 46/State Road 11 intersection.

Strand Associates was picked after the city received 10 responses from 30 requests for proposals that were made, said Dave Hayward, executive director of public works/city engineer.

Interviews were conducted with two firms that were considered for the appointment, Hayward said.

Terms of the contract, including the amount to be paid for professional fees, have not yet been determined between the city and the engineering firm, Hayward said. Typically, the city agrees on an hourly rate for a project management firm and establishes a maximum amount for the contract, he said.

Costs will be paid from tax increment financing dollars from the city’s Central TIF District, said Heather Pope, city redevelopment director.

Pope said costs will be determined based on a fee schedule that will help determine the specific length of the contract.

Strand Associates will assist the city with reviewing plans and documents on the city’s behalf and work with the Indiana Department of Transportation on the project, Hayward said. In addition, Strand will help ensure that the project remains on schedule, he said.

Strand Associates, which has its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, among 11 offices in the United States, was selected in part because of its experience and that Strand has a local office, Hayward said. The city was seeking a firm that could act if something needed to be completed quickly, he said.

The firm has worked with the city on wastewater projects, including long-term sewer improvements and a combined sewer overflow storage basin project, according to its website. It provides a range of engineering services, including municipal and civil engineering, wastewater, water supply, transportation, among others, according to its website.

The railroad overpass project was announced in July in Columbus, where Gov. Eric Holcomb said the project had been accepted by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The state has agreed to pick up $15 million of the overpass project’s cost, while local partners — headed by the city of Columbus — are picking up the remainder of the cost. Of the city’s share, $4 million will come from TIF District funds, while other funding sources includes about $5.5 million from the Cummins Engine Plant TIF District funds, up to $2.5 million in state or federal highway programs along with cost savings, $2 million from Bartholomew County and $1.5 million from CSX and Louisville & Indiana Railroads.

Commission members will consider a formal resolution to hire Strand Associates during its Oct. 16 meeting once details concerning compensation and the terms of a contract have been negotiated, Pope said.

What's next

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission will consider a resolution to hire Strand Associates during its next meeting at 4 p.m. Oct. 16 in Columbus City Hall once compensation and contract details have been negotiated between the firm and the city.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or