The construction timeline of Dublin's long-anticipated veterans project is still uncertain.

The construction timeline of Dublin's long-anticipated veterans project is still uncertain.

After design revisions, soaring costs and the city having difficulty securing financial support within the community, construction bids didn't come pouring in for the Grounds of Remembrance.

The project only received one bid earlier this month. The bid for $548,890 from the Stonehenge Co. was considerably higher than the city's $337,640 estimate.

Before the lone bid was announced, staff had speculated the project could be completed by Veterans Day or Memorial Day. But, thus far, a completion date hasn't been determined.

Staff is attempting to determine if the city underestimated the potential cost and why there was so little interest in the project, said Fred Hahn, director of parks and open space.

"This is short-term frustration," Hahn said. "But we're still optimistic this project is going forward in '08 and the project, the end result, will be something people can be proud of."

Hahn will present options to Dublin City Council at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, at the municipal building, 5200 Emerald Parkway.

Hahn recently spoke with several contractors and said one indicated a third party, McGraw-Hill Construction, estimated the cost of construction between $100,000 and $200,000.

McGraw-Hill Construction is one of several companies in central Ohio that collects and shares information about construction projects in the region, including cost estimates and blueprints, Hahn said. The service is utilized by industry professionals.

Although Dublin projects have been listed with the service in the past, this was the first time McGraw-Hill failed to share Dublin's cost estimate, Hahn said.

He said another company told him there was too much specialized work to make it economical for the company to bid on the project.

"There are four to five major trades without a measurable amount of work associated with each and it didn't make sense for their business because they don't have the quantity of work for their trade to make it economical," Hahn said. "It's conceivable that's part of the reason we didn't have a lot of interest in the project."

The city already has contracted with Quality Architectural and Fabricating Inc. for the bronze work. The bronze handrail will cost $168,207, which includes installation, and the bronze poem wall will cost $22,175.

Other trades include electric, excavation, metal fabrication, masonry, concrete and steel.

"People who work in metal don't typically have anything to do with concrete and people who work concrete don't necessarily push dirt," Hahn said.

He couldn't provide specifics on the information he planned to present to council and said he is still researching various options.

One option was discussed by council in the past year. City staff proposed that the city would act as the general contractor and subcontract the work to various companies.

The concept was criticized by several members of council and dismissed.

Hahn also is directly contacting contractors to determine if there is interest in the project and if the city's estimate is accurate.

"We're really trying to analyze what our options are and understanding this and right now we really don't know," he said. "It is conceivable that our bid estimates are in error and thus the one bid received may be the fair value of the project."

Council approved a modified Grounds of Remembrance project design in February after it was announced the project was exceeding the initial $500,000 budget.

The project is expected to cost $700,000, which includes design, construction, park development and site improvements. To date, about $560,000 has been raised, including a $150,000 donation from Cardinal Health, $250,000 from the city and $160,000 from individuals, families, foundations and corporations.