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Concept Set to Become Reality as Massive Earthwork Project for City Indoor Rec Complex about to Begin

May 18, 2018
For those wondering if the process involving the City of Bridgeport’s Indoor Recreation Complex was still moving ahead, the answer is yes. Proof of that came on Thursday.
 
On Thursday morning at the Bridgeport Municipal Complex, a mandatory pre-bid meeting was held for the first actual work on the site where the new facility will eventually be constructed. The meeting was for a request for proposal from contractors to handle the earthwork at the site.
 
As it turned out, more than just the community is interested in the project. A total of 21 contractors showed up for the meeting that was advertised in legal ads earlier this month, according to City Engineer Beth Fox.
 
“We actually expect the (the contractor) to mobilize on the site and begin moving dirt at about that time,” said Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang.
 
Make no mistake, the project is not a small one. According to the legal advertisement, the “mass earthwork” will 366,000 cubic yards of earthwork along with 5,290 linear feet of storm sewer. There is also a requirement in the project of 290 linear feet of sanitary sewer, three permanent storm water basins, 41 storm structures and other items that are “necessary to complete construction.”
 
What this means is the project, which has been talked about for several years and tax dollars have been collected since July 1, 2016 from the 1 percent sales tax increase to fund it, is about to go from concept to reality.
 
“When the dirt begins to move is when you’ll see people get really excited about this,” said Lang. “The construction period for this is around five months so you’re looking at possibly having this part of the project done in November. Those are great months for moving dirt.”
 
Once the earthwork is complete, the next big contract will be put out for bid. And Lang said, it will be the most important and the last contract involved with getting the structure ready.
 
“The next contract will be for one turn-key project that will be let sometime after the first of the year in 2019,” said Lang. “That will be for the completion of the facility. That’s it.”
 
The project will cost up to $35 million. In late March Council announced the project will include a field house with basketball courts and an aquatics component with event seating and indoor turf component. Also to be included are a multi-lane walking/running track and a 200-by-200 indoor turf area to be divided into four fields, to be used for soccer, indoor baseball training, etc.
 
A common area component – containing administration, fitness, concessions, security, etc. - will be connected to the others. Omni Architects and CEC Consultants are headlining the project.
 
As for the earthwork, bids are due to City Manager Kim Haws by 2 p.m. June 5. At that time, the bids will be opened and read aloud.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo is of Mayor Andy Lang at this week's work session of the Bridgeport City Council. Bottom photo is a conceptual look at what the Bridgeport Indoor Recreation Complex may look like if all components are instituted.