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Construction Contract for HDWB Goes to Nicholas

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Directors at Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency approved a contract with Nicholas Construction for the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Recharge System Improvements Project for the High Desert Water Bank during a special board meeting on Tuesday, June 7 in an amount not-to-exceed $33,337,110.

Nicholas, a company in Shafter, California, came in as the lowest of three firms that bid for the project. Blois Construction, in Oxnard, presented the highest bid at $49,007,369 and Ames Construction, in Corona, sought $37,208,600 for the job.

Nicholas has a current and active Class A, General Engineering Contractor’s License. The firm previously worked on several projects for AVEK, including the installation of underground recharge pipes at Westside Water Bank.

The bid from Nicholas was lower than the project’s budgeted figure of $39,549,339. The capital budget for HDWB is being fully funded by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the agency that partnered with AVEK.

At the special meeting, AVEK Engineering Manager Justin Livesay presented Directors with the project details.

HDWB can store up to 70,000 acre-feet of water annually in the construction facilities funded by Metropolitan. Met entered the partnership with AVEK also agreeing to fund all operational and maintenance costs in addition to the price of construction.

Met benefits by recovering 90% of its recharged water, leaving 10% in the ground, a plan intended to improve the health of the Antelope Valley aquifer.

HDWB is a supply and reliability banking project meant to improve the reliability of State Water Project deliveries and AVEK’s financial stability by recharging and recovering up to 70,000 acre-feet of water each year. Motivation for the long-term goal behind this project is to reach a total of 280,000 acre-feet of SWP supplies within the 1,500-acre site in close proximity to the California Aqueduct turnouts.

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