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Eutaw Construction suing Port Commission over contract

GULFPORT ­— A contract dispute has put on hold elevation work at the state port in Gulfport.

The port’s West Pier is being expanded, elevated and updated to house a modern containerized cargo operation. When completed, the pier will include 180 acres elevated for storm-surge protection by 15 feet, to 25 feet above sea level.

The Sun Herald reports Eutaw Construction Co. Inc., the second lowest bidder on the first elevation contract at the port, has sued the Port Commission.

Eutaw Construction alleges the Port Commission allowed low bidder W.C. Fore Trucking Inc., which bid $19.9 million, to correct irregularities in his bid after it was submitted. Eutaw Construction contends that is prohibited by state law.

The Port Commission will soon decide whether to award the bid to Fore and proceed pending the appeal or delay the work until the lawsuit is resolved.

Fore Trucking had already completed the first phases of pier expansion when the company landed the contract to begin elevation work on 43 acres.

The Port Commission also has awarded a contract for the final 24-acre expansion. The expansion contract went to low bidder Archer Western Contractors, headquartered in Atlanta. The contract price is about $38.3 million or almost $6 million less than the budgeted amount.

Archer Western will dredge to 20 feet below sea level then fill along the western side of the pier to 10 feet above sea level.

The dredged material will be barged to Deer Island for restoration.

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