October 28, 2009 Edition

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NEA Regional Water
Authority opens bids

Among those attending a bid opening in connection with the Northeast Arkansas Water Authority on Thursday in Walnut Ridge were (from left): Gary Little, board member, Matthew Dunn, engineer at Crist Engineers, Gary Light, board member, and Lester Herring, Walnut Ridge Water Superintendent.
Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Members of the Northeast Arkansas Water Authority and representatives from Crist Engineers, Inc. met Thursday at the Lawrence County Meeting Room in Walnut Ridge to open bids on a water treatment plant and 83,000 feet of transmission lines that will connect the treatment center and existing distribution centers for its members.

Members of the authority are Alicia, Hoxie, Walnut Ridge and the Lawrence County Regional Water District. The system, which will use surface water from the Spring River, will have the capability to serve other communities as well, according to A.J. Henry, chairman of the NEA Regional Water Authority. This will offer an alternative to tapping ground water.

The totally enclosed water treatment plant will be able to treat three million gallons of water per day and will provide a long-term water supply for Lawrence County.

The cost of the project is estimated at $11.5 million, a large part of which is being funded through the USDA and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission. A total of $2 million in grants has also been received.

"The low bid on the treatment plant was $6,963,000 made by Van Horn Construction Company in Russellville," said Matthew Dunn, engineer with Crist. "The lowest bid on the transmission lines was $3,194,175 from BRB Contractors Inc. of Topeka, Kan."

Dunn said no bids have been awarded at this time.

"The project is a little over budget and we will be holding internal meetings as well as meeting with the USDA and Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to look at our options in the next two weeks," Dunn said.

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