Harbor development officials opened bids Thursday for steel and concrete work at the former Memorial Auditorium site.
Six companies submitted bids for the construction project, with a contract expected to be awarded next month.
Work at the former Aud site began this week under a previously awarded contract, said Thomas P. Dee, president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.
DiPizio Construction Co. of Cheektowaga and the Pike Company of Rochester were the lowest bidders, which will involve some steel and concrete work, as well as the construction of 18-inch deep pools to be used as reflecting pools and for ice skating.
The project -- which encompasses the southern half of the four-acre Aud site -- also calls for two levels of pedestrian access at the site, including the construction of three pedestrian bridges, similar to the pedestrian bridge at the Commercial Wharf.
Dee said the bids came in slightly lower than expected.
The agency, which must accept the lowest qualified bid, will begin its review process by taking the two lowest bids and going through submitted documents to see whether they fulfill the scope of the project, Dee said.
Officials have said they expect the project to be completed by the end of 2012.
There are six projects in the harbor's footprint that have either started or are being designed and ready to start construction, he said.
"We are moving forward," he said.
For this latest project, firms were asked to bid on the main work and also to submit an alternate bid for a snow melt system on the site's pedestrian paths. The alternate work is optional and the agency will decide whether it wants it done at the time it awards the contract.
The six companies, and their base and alternate bids, are:
*DiPizio Construction, $18,899,000; $300,000
*The Pike Company, $20,974,000; $306,000
*LP Ciminelli, $22,949,000; $230,000
*Tug Hill, $25,462,000; $212,000
*Union Concrete, $25,880,000; $400,000
*STC Corp., $26,859,000; $250,000.