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DMVW awarded SEPA rail bid

The construction bid for the rail loop around the Spiritwood Energy Park Association property was awarded to Dakota, Missouri Valley & Western Railroad Thursday during a SEPA Board of Directors meeting.

SEPA is a joint project of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. and Great River Energy.

DMVW was the apparent low bidder with a base bid of $6.4 million. Also bidding on the project were Gratech at $8.2 million and RailWorks Track Systems at $6.9 million.

DMVW had been awarded the same project in February. That award was challenged by RailWorks, which cited irregularities in the bid process and challenged that DMVW had been allowed by SEPA officials to modify its bid after opening. On Feb. 6, the SEPA Board of Directors unanimously voted to rebid the project.

New bids were opened April 4 and reviewed by engineers from Bartlett & West who contacted references and compiled information for board members to review.

Joe Larson, attorney for SEPA and the JSDC, said each board member was to review the bids on a scale of zero to 100. Each member was to award up to 70 points for cost, detail and scope of the bid and 30 points on past work performance and safety.

DMVW received the most points with 352 awarded by the four board members. RailWorks received 316 points and Gratech 268.

“We want the best number we can,” said Gary Riffe, president of the SEPA Board of Directors, speaking about the cost of the project. “But we want the best quality possible.”

Work is expected to begin soon on the project that has a contract completion date of Dec. 1. Once completed, the rail loop provides rail connectivity to the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol plant that is currently under construction and anticipated to begin testing late in 2014.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at