California contractors have another shot at winning the underwater cable relocation project for the Bay Bridge, according to Bart Ney, spokesman for the project at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The revised bidding for the contract will be re-advertised at the end of this month.

The final winning bid will relocate a power line owned by the U.S. Navy before Caltrans begins construction on part of the bridge's new eastern span.

Caltrans decided to re-bid the project after the agency estimated the project at $6.6 million but received a single bid for $13 million from San Francisco-based California Engineering Contractors Inc. (CEC), a contractor that worked on a portion of the Bay Bridge's self-anchored suspension span. Caltrans didn't have enough historical budget information for the unusual bid, which may be why it was underestimated, according to Saif Lodhi, vice president of CEC.

Caltrans hopes to come closer to the budget this time around.

The revised bid expands the process to create more opportunity for multiple contractors to participate. It changes the previous 15 years of required experience for pre-bid authorization and instead uses a new policy that requires a resume of similar experience, qualifications review and project history, says Ney.

The revised bid process won't delay the Bay Bridge project. Caltrans expects to meet the re-bid deadline to avoid delays caused by environmental law restrictions that limit construction on the bay floor part of the year. "We have six months from Dec. 1 to May 31 to work in the water," says Ney, who assures that the worst-case scenario will just move construction to another one of the 10 column footings.