Depending on what alternate bids are selected, the Highway 100 beautification project can be constructed within the budgeted amount.

The city opened bids Monday afternoon from six construction firms for the project which is being funded with a federal enhancement grant that will pay up to 80 percent of the cost.

The project includes adding median landscaping along certain sections of Highway 100 between Highway 47 and East Fifth Street/South Point Road as well as additional signage and bike path markings.

The city sought base bids to construct median improvements along these sections:

• Far West — from a point west of the JCPenney store to the east for about 756 feet to Washington Heights Drive;

• West — from a point east of Washington Heights Drive for 250 feet to Camp Street; and

• East — from a point east of A. Roy Drive for a distance of about 760 feet.

Gershenson Construction Co. submitted the apparent low base bid of $562,550.42.

Other firms submitted the following base bids: N.B. West Contracting Company, $562,598.73; R.V. Wagner Inc., $572,173.99; Lamke Trenching and Excavating, $580,984.52; K.J. Unnerstall Construction, $589,444.15; and J.M. Marschuetz, $615,674.46.

The city has approximately $680,000 available for the construction portion of the project.

Alternate A called for extending the median enhancements between Rabbit Trail Drive and Brookview Drive, a distance of 1,075 feet.

With Alternate A added in, all of the bids were higher than the $680,000 construction budget.

Here are the quotes for the base and Alternate A bids: Gershenson, $805,536.97; N.B. West, $830,129.63; R.V. Wagner, $848,750.77; Lamke, $841,749.85; K.J. Unnerstall, $854,341.70; and Marschuetz, $843,087.31.

However, with Alternate B, which shortens those extra median enhancements to about a 325-foot section to the west of Brookview, all but two of the bids came in at or under budget.

N.B. West was the apparent low bidder with the base bid and Alternate B. The firm quoted a combined cost of $656,793.83 for the base and that alternate.

Combined base and Alternate B bids from the other firms were: Gershenson, $665,145.09; R.V. Wagner, $669,013.90; Lamke, $698,593.72; Unnerstall, $680,482.40; and Marschuetz, $689,699.11.

All of the base and Alternate A and B bids include irrigation for the landscaped plantings.

Alternate C is the same as Alternate B but without underground irrigation for that section. Those bids ranged from a low of $62,724.65 to a high of $111,234.55.

Last year, the city was awarded a $604,823 federal enhancement grant for the project. The city’s match is $151,206 in local funds. The grant pays for 80 percent of the project cost, including the engineering and design work.

The enhancements were designed by the consulting firm of Crawford, Murphy and Tilly Inc.

Last month, the city approved a supplemental agreement with MoDOT stating that the city will be solely responsible for maintaining the improvements, including walkways and bike trails, irrigation and drainage systems, trimming of shrubs, mowing and trimming between shrubs, “and other plantings that are part of the improvement.”

The plan is to review bids in December and award a contract in January 2013, followed by construction starting next spring.

Plantings for the new landscaped median strips will be done in the fall of 2013 to give the plants the best chance to thrive, city officials have said.

Preliminary plans call for most of the landscaped medians to be planted with native wildflowers and grasses that can grow from 1.5 to 3 feet tall. There also are areas where 3- to 5-foot-tall shrubs will be planted.