An artist’s rendering shows what the new Commons area in Washington could look like.

Bids for the proposed Commons project in downtown Washington have come in surprisinglywell under the engineer’s estimate.

Officials opened bids from Danco Construction from Evansville and Taber-Owens of Washington at the city council chambers earlier this week. The Danco bid was $3,138,000 for the base package with $522,600 for the alternate and a total bid of $3,660,600.

The apparent low bid came from Taber-Owens with a base bid of $2,687,484. The alternate bid was $467,465 with a total bid of $3,154,949.

“I am pleased. We have called this all along a $4 million project,” said Washington Mayor Dave Rhoads. “The way it looks right now we are underneath that. Given the way things are these days, that is very surprising that it came in the way it did.”

The Commons is a joint project between the city and the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation, and it is expected to make a major change to the block bounded by Southeast Third, Southeast Fourth, Main and South streets.

“We finally got to this day where we opened bids. It has been a long time coming. The city and the Economic Development Corporation have been working on this for 16 months,” said Rhoads. “I am very pleased with the two bids we received. We will review them and officially award the contract at a later date.”

The project calls for the construction of a market pavilion and a performance pavilion, a band-shell/restroom area, performance lawn, parking areas and amenities. It will also include extensive utility relocation and site work.

The work is expected to begin in the spring and take about one year to complete.

The Commons project is part of the county-wide effort to provide additional activities and space to attract people to Daviess County and help get them to live and work in the community.

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