The disappointment? After months of vacillation, the members of the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority appear to have made up their minds. First, they requested bids for building the new swing bridge with 75 percent-completed plans, over the objections of some members of the board. Then, they opened and rejected the bids in favor of a second round of bidding with 100 percent plans. When the apparent low bidder protested, they voted to reverse the earlier decision to reject the bids and awarded the contract to GLF. This led to another protest by one of the bidders.
GIBA held a special meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, to allow Orion Marine Construction Group to present their formal protest to the board's recent decision to award the swing bridge contract to GLF.
The board, which sent out a Request for Bid with 75 percent completed plans, decided unanimously, after they opened the received bids, to reject them all and wait until they had 100 percent plans in hand to go out for bids again.
This drew a formal protest from GLF, which was the apparent low bidder for the project.
GLF presented its formal protest on January 15, at which point the GIBA board awarded them the contract. Orion responded to this action with a protest of its own.
On Thursday, Feb. 7 Orion Senior Vice President David Thornton based his argument on the fact that the bid that GLF submitted on paper was different from the bid submitted on CD. He said that since the two numbers did not match, GLF received an unfair advantage in the bidding process.
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