Mowat Construction Submits Apparent Low Bid for MLK, Jr. Blvd. Underpass

Contact: City Engineer Doug Mayo – 576-6111
Community Relations Manager Randy Beehler – 901-1142 –

Mowat Construction Company, which has been building public works projects throughout the western United States since its founding in the mid 1960s, has submitted the apparent low bid to serve as the prime contractor for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard underpass project in Downtown Yakima.

Mowat’s bid of just over $10.6 million ($10,634,867.95) is almost $2 million below engineer’s estimates for the underpass, which will be a virtual twin of the Lincoln Avenue underpass that opened in May of this year.

“All of the six bids that the City received for the MLK, Jr. Boulevard underpass were below the estimated cost of about $12.7 million,” said City Engineer Doug Mayo.  “Timing is probably the biggest factor in the bids coming in below the estimate,” said Mayo.  “Contractors are looking for work right now, and that benefited us on this project.”

The City is currently reviewing the details of Mowat’s bid, checking it for accuracy and completeness.  If no issues arise during the bid verification process, which will likely be completed within the next week or so, Mowat would formally be awarded the underpass contract.

Mowat started in 1964 as David A. Mowat Company, named for its founder.  In its early days, the company worked on a variety of projects such as high schools and elementary schools, the Seattle National Guard Armory, and the Battelle Marine Research Laboratory in Sequim.  In 1994, its name was changed to Mowat Construction Company.  For several years, Mowat’s focus has been on heavy roadway and bridge construction projects.

Work on the MLK, Jr. Blvd. underpass is expected to get underway in mid or late January.  According to Mayo, the exact start date of the project will be determined once the contract is formally awarded.  When the project begins will depend on scheduling availability of the prime contractor.

Shortly after the first of the year, revisions will begin being implemented that will move traffic now on MLK, Jr. Blvd. to Yakima Avenue.  Throughout the underpass project, which will likely take about a year and a half to complete, MLK, Jr. Blvd. between 1st Street and 1st Avenue will be closed to all traffic.  North Front Street will also be closed between A Street and the Lincoln Avenue underpass bridge.

MLK, Jr. Blvd. Underpass Bid (pdf)