Construction on Middleton building halted over dispute

Last week, a temporary restraining order was filed at the request of Associated General Contractors (AGC) regarding the construction of a building in Middleton. Dane County Judge Rhonda Lanford issued the temporary order asking the city to stop work on a public works building at 4330 Parmenter St. AGC maintains that the city, which awarded the $9 million contract to Newcomb Construction, did not choose the lowest bidder out of nine companies that bid on the project. It also believes the Newcomb bid failed to comply with bid requirements.

The city says it followed state law. It asked for bids for two different building types: one using tilt-up concrete walls and the other using steel construction. It received eight bids using traditional steel construction, but Newcomb’s was reportedly the only bid submitted that offered the concrete, tilt-up design. It was priced $60,000 higher than the others but was the lowest — and only — bid in that category. Middleton says state rules allow for alternate types of bids, and the board felt the Newcomb bid was a better value and would offer more longevity, according to reports.

AGC represents six of the nine construction companies that bid on the public works project. Construction has stopped, even though Newcomb believes it has a valid contract. AGC is asking the city to rebid the project.