Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority held a called meeting on Wednesday morning at the Lannom Center to award a bid for open cell dock construction. The open cell dock construction is a critical piece to the larger project of building the Port of Cates Landing and is also by far the most expensive piece.

After requesting additional time, five bids were submitted to the Port Authority by their deadline on Aug. 16. The lowest bid by far came from the locally operated Choctaw Transportation Company Inc. However, being the lowest bid did not automatically grant Choctaw the project. Project managers from Forcum Lannom Contractors, the technical counterparts on the project, met with project managers from Choctaw to ensure that the company would be able to deliver on the project.

"We met for over three hours and made sure they had thought of everything and that they could deliver what they said," said Senior Project Executive for Forcum Lannom Michael Sanders.

With the assurances from Forcum Lannom that Choctaw Transportation Company was the best organization for the open cell dock construction, the Port Authority unanimously approved awarding the bid in the amount of $9,636,000 to Choctaw.

"I'm glad we were able to award this locally," said Port Authority Chairman Jimmy Williamson.

The State Gazette spoke with Choctaw's Vice President Greg Ford by phone after the bid was awarded and he expressed his company's excitement to be a part of this project.

"We are really looking forward to start work and we are excited to be a part of this project," said Ford. "This is a great thing for Lake County and for the northwest Tennessee area."

The Port Authority will issue Choctaw a notice to proceed as early as tomorrow so that work can commence on a project that is being guided by an extremely tight schedule. Choctaw is expected to complete its portion of the work by Aug, 1, 2012.

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