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MN Water Tower Restoration Awarded

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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Olmsted County has awarded a project for restoration of the Ear of Corn Water Tower located in Rochester, Minnesota, to Rachel Contracting of St. Michael, Minnesota, for the amount of $1,098,013.

Rachel Contracting was the lowest of nine apparent bidders. Additional bidders included:

  • Veit & Company, of New Berlin, Wisconsin, in the amount of $1,365,296;
  • Carleton Companies, of Mankato, Minnesota, in the amount of $1,433,735;
  • Fraser Construction, of Rochester, Minnesota, in the amount of $1,514,450;
  • Carl Bolander & Sons, of St. Paul, Minnesota, in the amount of $1,548,396;
  • Fitzgerald Excavating, of Goodhue, Minnesota, in the amount of $1,698,200;
  • Frattalone Companies, of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, in the amount of $1,811,960;
  • Bradenburg Industrial, of Chicago, in the amount of $1,991,407; and
  • Total Wrecking & Enviro, of Tonawanda, New York, in the amount of $2,787,405.

The project bid Oct. 30, 2020.

Scope of Work

The County of Olmsted has awarded a project for the restoration of the beloved Ear of Corn Water Tower landmark in Rochester, Minnesota.

Olmsted County

Olmsted County has awarded a project for restoration of the Ear of Corn Water Tower located in Rochester, Minnesota, to Rachel Contracting of St. Michael, Minnesota, for the amount of $1,098,013.

The tower was constructed in 1931 as a nod to one of the two main vegetables processed at the Rochester cannery, and is featured in many books on roadside attractions in the United States. The Ear of Corn Water Tower is likely eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places for social history as a representation of the work of the commercial artist, Rudolph Betcher, who originally painted the tower. As a result of the foreseeable nomination, the county has planned to preserve the water tower.

The awarded contractor will oversee the abrasive blast cleaning of the interior surfaces to Near White Standards (SSPC-SP 10). The interior will be coated with a zinc-rich primer and epoxy system.

The exterior surfaces will be abrasive blast cleaned to Commercial Standards (SSPC-SP 6) and coated with a zinc-rich primer, epoxy intermediate and urethane finish.

The owner approved coating manufacturer is Tnemec.

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