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Contractors have more time to bid on replacing Flint's lead service lines

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The next round of Flint’s lead service line replacement may take a little longer to get started.

Today’s 3 pm deadline for contractors to bid on the work has been extended.

Contractors will now have until next Tuesday to submit bids on replacing up to 500 Flint service lines.

City officials decided to give the contractors more time to refine their bids, after changes were made to original Request for Proposals or RFP.   The addendums to the original RFP came after concerns were raised by contractors during a mandatory pre-bid meeting last week.

Mayor Karen Weaver has stressed that she wants much of the work of replacing the lead service lines to go to local Flint businesses.

“As we move forward with FAST Start, local business owners now have a chance to get additional work for their employees and participate in getting the lead out of Flint,” Weaver said in a written statement today.

Flint has $2 million to pay for the work.   

Once Gov. Rick Snyder signs the Fiscal Year 2017 state budget, the state will chip in another $25 million. 

But the cost of replacing the thousands of damaged pipes connecting Flint homes with city water mains is projected to be tens of millions of dollars more.

The service lines are a prime source of lead leeching into Flint’s tap water.

Because of the lead tainted drinking water, Flint residents rely on bottled water and use only filtered tap water. 

To date, the city has only replaced 33 service lines.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.