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Workshop gives local contractors a look into future bids for flood control project

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance will host additional workshops at a later date for contractors to learn even more about the bidding process.

The plans are finalized and most of the funding is now in place for permanent flood protection in Cedar Rapids.

The next step is finding the contractors to build it.

Nearly 100 private contractors and suppliers attended two workshops on Thursday where they learned about bid opportunities for contracts to work on portions of the city's 10-year Flood Control System and the long term impact of playing a part in a historic project for Cedar Rapids.

"When we look at this system, it's about protecting Iowa's second largest city forever," said Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz. "There's probably hundreds of projects within this 750 million dollar overall program."

"We want to make sure contractors are putting this in their plans because many of them are going to have to hire more workers to get this done," said Ron Corbett, who works with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

Pomeranz said this workshop exposes private companies on potential upcoming projects that will be available for bid next year and in the coming years.

"There's levees, and there's trails, and there's permanent walls and removable walls all part of the cedar rapids flood control system," he said. "But one of the biggest will be the replacement of the 8th Avenue bridge."

The event also showed additional steps some contractors may have to take to acquire certain bids for projects funded through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Today's education forum was really to have contractors understand the steps that they have to take to get corps certified," said Corbett.

Former Mayor Corbett said with remaining funds for the 10-year flood initiative expected to come from increasing the city's property tax levee each year by 22 cents, it is important for local companies to have the chance to bring this project to life.

"You increase the multiplier effect because the local companies hire local workers. Those workers spend their paychecks in the community, so you have that ripple effect from that economic standpoint," he said.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance will host additional workshops at a later date for contractors to learn even more about the bidding process.

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