On appeal from the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Middlesex County.
Matthews, Pressler and Petrella. The opinion of the court was delivered by Matthews, P.J.A.D.
[181 NJSuper Page 405] Saturn Construction Company, Inc. (Saturn) initiated this action by verified complaint alleging that the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Middlesex County (county) wrongfully awarded a
contract for general construction of the Middlesex County Correctional Facility to M. Gordon Construction Company, Inc. (Gordon). Saturn claimed that because it was the lowest bidder, it was entitled to the contract; Saturn named both the county and Gordon as defendants.
After hearing argument on two separate dates, the trial judge entered an order declaring the award of the contract to Gordon null and void and ordering the county to readvertise and rebid.
The county solicited bids on six separate contracts for construction of a correctional facility:
Contract No. 1 -- General Construction
Contract No. 2 -- Structural Steel
Contract No. 3 -- Plumbing & Fire Protection
Contract No. 4 -- Heating, Ventilating & Air-Conditioning
Contract No. 5 -- Electrical Work
Contract No. 6 -- Detention Work
Pursuant to Articles 10.1, 12, 13 and 19 of the "Instructions to Bidders," Gordon and Saturn each submitted (1) a bid on the general construction contract, (2) bids on alternates relating to that contract and (3) a percentage they would require if the county chose to assign the responsibility of administering the other five contracts to the contractor for general construction. The bids were as follows:
BASE BID ALTERNATES ASSIGNMENT
GORDON $7,065,000.00 $1,305,300.00 3%
SATURN $6,980,000.00 $1,274,000.00*fn1 55%
On August 6, 1981, the county awarded the bid to Gordon. The county and Gordon contend that ...