PBC Board Awards Millennium Bandshell Contract

Terry Levin, (312) 744-9277

The Public Building Commission Tuesday awarded a $25.4 million contract to build the basic bandshell structure for Millennium Park.

Winning the contract was the lowest of two bidders, Walsh/II in One Joint Venture, a Chicago-based partnership of Walsh Construction Co., 929 W. Adams St., the largest general contractor in the Midwest; and II in One Contractors Inc., 4344 W. 45th St., an African-American-owned concrete contractor.

The joint venture also was the successful bidder last year on the work to complete construction of the new Millennium Park underground parking garage and the crossover structure bridging the Metra tracks on which much of the park will rest.

That work remains underway. The new 60-foot-high bandshell structure will be constructed atop the parking garage on the east side of the park and is expected to be completed by spring of 2003, according to PBC executive director Eileen Carey.

Walsh/II in One Joint Venture committed to 25% participation in the bandshell contract to minority-owned firms and 5% to woman-owned companies. It also promised that at least one-third of the on-site journeymen, apprentices and laborers would be minorities and women.

The other firm seeking the contract, Castle Construction Co., was the high bidder at $39.4 million. Prior to the bidding, the PBC estimated the work would cost $24.3 million.

The city’s portion of the bandshell work will be to construct the basic structure, including the stage, wings, stairs, ramps and other facilities. It does not include the steel trellis structure and its audio system or the stainless steel ribbons, all of which will be funded by private donors.

The entire bandshell, however, was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. When completed, there will be a seating bowl with 4,000 fixed seats and a 2.25-acre Great Lawn with a “picnic” seating capacity of about 7,000.

The total cost of the bandshell project, combining public funds and private donations, is estimated at about $50 million.

Also Tuesday, the PBC awarded a separate contract-linked only geographically to Millennium Park, but not actually part of that project-to build a portion of the new busway that will connect McCormick Place to Randolph Street.

Since the busway will parallel the Metra tracks, its northernmost three blocks will run below Millennium Park from Monroe to Randolph.

The contract to build this underground section was awarded to low-bidder McHugh/Riteway Joint Venture, which bid $1,124,425 for the job.

The other three bidders were F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen, with a bid of $1,165,838; Walsh Construction, with its $1,252,632 bid; and Castle Construction, bidding $1,298,000.

McHugh/Riteway, 2222 S. Indiana Ave., also committed to participation of 25% by minority-owned businesses and 5% by woman-owned businesses, along with 40% of the on-site journeymen and 50% each of its apprentices and laborers being minorities.

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