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Florida contract bid dispute will likely result in long delay

Ongoing plans to alleviate traffic congestion in Melbourne, Florida have now been delayed due to a dispute over contract bids. Planning of this project has been going on for some 15 years and construction was to begin in early 2014. It now appears that the date for beginning that construction will be pushed back even further.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Transportation believes it will take at a minimum four to six months to resolve this dispute. The worst case scenario would be if the parties decided to walk away from the project.

The project was intended to go to the second-lowest bidder.  The reason why is because there was a claimed problem with the paperwork submitted by the lowest bidder.  The lowest bidder understandably is challenging this decision.  The lowest bid was for $15.98 million while the second lowest bid was $16.65 million.

 It's difficult to know the merits of the lowest bidder's contentions without diving deeper into the facts of this matter.  When the budgets of municipalities are tight, a more than half-million dollar difference in bids could seem significant.  However, as city leaders of Melbourne are hoping to get this project moving, any delay may be particularly vexing.

The fact that such contract disputes could result in these sorts of delays tells us how complex the bidding dispute really is.  Attorneys from all sides will be representing the sides of each client in hopes to get this matter resolved.  The outcome of the dispute could mean one party gets a multi-million dollar contract while the other has to look for other projects.

Source: Florida Today, "Contract dispute delays work on Apollo Blvd. extension in Melbourne," Stacey Barchenger, Nov. 6, 2013

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