Dover waterfront public park receives zero bids for construction

‘Jewel’ redevelopment project hits a roadblock over Army Corps of Engineers’ March 2023 work deadline

The city of Dover has run into a hurdle in its decades-long goal of redeveloping its 29-acre riverfront: It received no bids from four prequalified firms to develop a new 3.5-acre park.

The riverfront park project has been hailed as a “jewel” for Dover, with plans for walking paths, steps to the water, a non-motorized boat launch, a public boat dock , a concession stand, restrooms and storage area. The public park is the city’s portion of the massive riverfront development plan, which also includes Boston-based Cathartes’ approved plan to develop five buildings with 410 housing units and 28,000 square feet of commercial space that could include restaurants, retail space and offices.

Dover Waterfront Design

But Foster’s Daily Democrat reported tht Steve Bird, Dover’s waterfront public improvements project manager, recently told the Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee, that no bids came from the four prequalified construction companies.

The four pre-qualified firms were NorthEast Earth Mechanics LLC of Pittsfield, Severino Trucking Co. of Candia, S.U.R. Construction Inc. of Rochester and the Sargent Corporation of Stillwater, Maine.

Foster’s reported that Bird told the Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee that no bids came in by the Oct. 26 deadline.

The newspaper said the bids didn’t come in because a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit requires any firm charged with developing the park to complete shoreline work by March 15, 2023 – a deadline that the companies saw as unrealistic.

The city is now working with the Army Corps with the goal of reworking the existing permit to allow for shoreline work to be completed by March 15, 2024. If accepted, the bids would be sent out again before New Year’s Day.

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