LASTA History – 2001


Greg had the bid just for one day since it was declared invalid the following day because the bid bond check was not received. Greg was ready to quit, but under Bruce’s spell, he finally agreed to resubmit his bid. To complicate matters even more, another “interested” individual showed up at the site to view the project. This individual admitted he knew little about steam engines, but wanted to make “a lot of money” since he had given up his share of one of the state’s gaming casinos. He said he was going to hire some “good people” to fix 745. He arranged for some consultants to come by and look the job over but they never showed up! This same individual, on the day the bid was due, missed the deadline by ten minutes! Greg was again the only bidder. Bruce had a lot of scotch that night to celebrate life’s absurdities. But the drink was too soon!

The next day, the bid was again declared invalid since the bid bond check was again missing. Before planning to jump off the Crescent City Connection, Bruce wanted to at least explain to Greg why he didn’t get the bid again. When told, Greg screamed very loudly that he did put the check in the envelope with the bid. On the way to the bridge, Bruce called the DOTD and told them what Greg had screamed. They checked the envelope and found the check! They stated that they had never seen a bid without a check stapled to it and thus assumed that the check was not there. Thank God the envelope was saved! Bruce immediately turned from the bridge. but again it was much too early to celebrate.

After a bid is accepted, a certain amount of time is permitted to obtain a performance bond before the bid is declared invalid. LASTA, Greg, Jefferson Parish, and countless insurance agencies tried to obtain the required bond. LASTA was finally told that it would be easier to get the required bond to build another Taj Mahal than to restore a steam engine. Finally, at the eleventh hour, Bobby Palmer, a friend of Bruce, was able to get the required performance bond. Greg still maintains that the actual rebuild of 745 will be much easier than obtaining the “Notice to Proceed”.

” As you may know by now, my crew and I came to your lovely town on October 26, 2001, and started tearing 745 down on October 29, 2001. The 745 cooperated very well. So far it is going to be a good rebuild. I have seen both better and worse rebuilds. We are looking forward to returning in January to get the boiler ready for sandblasting and do form #4 surveys. Until then I really would like to thank everyone for all the help and support.” 
—Greg Dodd – October 2001