Kilgore College rejects too-high bid for pedestrian bridge demo

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Jun. 16—Kilgore College trustees halted plans to demolish the remaining pedestrian bridge structures on Monday after they said the lone bid they received for the project was too high.

Trustees unanimously voted to reject a $659,315 bid from RLM General Contractors to take down the bridge, saying the bid exceeded reasonable costs for the scope of work, while also agreeing to let President Brenda Kays work with Halff Associates to "pursue alternative courses of action for the demolition of existing bridge structures."

Trustees also tabled two other pedestrian bridge items, one to approve an interlocal contract with TxDOT for the bridge's demolition, and another to approve a contract amendement with Halff Associations to include demolition of the bridge structure.

But trustees did unanimously approve a resolution authorizing Kays to sign an agreement with TxDOT for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over Texas 42/U.S. 259.

Officials, when voting on the items, did not have specifics on when future discussions of the bridge demolition project would resume.

"When do we expect this to come back up, Jon?" Trustee Larry Woodfin asked.

"That's a good question, don't know yet," Jon Rowe, the board's property and facilities committee chair, said.

"We don't have any additional information to provide at this point in time," Kays said. "It is an ongoing scenario."

The old pedestrian bridge's main span, which allowed students to cross the heavily-trafficked U.S. 259 without danger, was taken down after being struck by an 18-wheeler in 2019. Existing ramps to the pedestrian bridge still remain, although they are cordoned off from use.

A crosswalk system has been set in place to help students cross U.S. 259.

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