GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis has long talked about getting the public access area reworked to allow for better dock access, an amphitheater for performances and presentations as well as modifying the boat ramp into the Ohio River.
Those plans may finally be moving forward.
According to Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene, after weeks of planning and replanning, the state last week handed back and approved the plans for the waterfront project and city officials are moving forward with the construction bidding process.
Sealed proposals must be sent to 333 Third Ave. until noon July 28, where they will be opened and read immediately. The project engineer’s opinion of the project’s probable cost is around $845,500. Once given noticed to proceed, the project is to be finished within 150 days.
Greene said he believes a pre-construction meeting will be held 10 days after the winning bid is accepted.
City commissioners previously expressed concern with a planning process that has seemingly taken longer than anticipated to be able to bid the construction project out. The more than $1 million awarded to Gallipolis in terms of grant money has an expiration deadline of Dec. 31 of this year, if not used. City officials told commissioners they felt there was strong likelihood the state would allow for exceptions to the project and funding processes given they had been providing state officials with monthly updates to show that effort is being made to complete the project.
Previously, the city had attempted to bid the project out as two separate contracts but received no takers last summer. With that, the city approached the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to see if grant monies and the projects could be combined so that whoever took the bid would need to complete both projects as one.
Greene suspects the longest part of the project will be in the pouring and forming of concrete for the amphitheater. After that, he said it was a simple matter of “cutting out dirt” from the existing public access area, softening some of the steeper hills and finally blacktopping the parking lot.
The third phase of the project will result in the addition of larger and more convenient docking space for boaters passing along on the Ohio River.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.