Originally created 07/09/02

Bids fail to come in for boats

After three years of design and planning for the Augusta Canal's unique, 65-foot tour boats, the Canal Authority had planned to open bids Monday and award contracts for the long-awaited project.

But no one submitted any bids.

"We're going to extend the deadline until July 25," said Karen Wesson, the canal authority's administrative assistant.

Some prospective bidders were unable to meet bonding requirements and others could not meet submission deadlines. Additional companies will be contacted and encouraged to submit bids for the extended deadline, Ms. Wesson said.

The tour boats will be modeled after the slender, cigar-shaped Petersburg vessels that once hauled cotton between Augusta and upstate plantations.

The design calls for a 65-foot vessel that is 11 feet, 9 inches wide with seating capacity for 48 adults weighing 160 pounds apiece, plus a two-person crew. The boats will be powered by two electric motors wired to 900-pound batteries in the hull, with maximum speeds of six miles per hour.

The first pair of boats would be kept primarily at the planned visitors center at Enterprise Mill with additional docks at Chafee Park and the Canal Headgates.

Reach Robert Pavey at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 119, or rpavey@augustachronicle.com.


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