It was with a sigh of relief that town officials reviewed the 10 bids received for construction of its share of the Metro Center train station -- the town's third -- as the bulk of them came in last week well under the $29 million allotted for the project.

"This is very good news," First Selectman Kenneth Flatto said.

The apparent low bidder is Guerrera Construction, which submitted a base bid of $19.9 million, and a bid of $20.1 million that includes additional alternate work -- specifically, paving a 150-car lot in the commuter drop-off area.

The work will include construction of a 1,500-car main lot, an access road to the site, as well as wetlands remediation and creation, for the depot at Metro Center, which was originally conceived to include a multi-million commercial development on the private portion of the property. The private developer, Blackrock Realty, ran into financial difficulties that stalled the project, since it also was to contribute to some of the public segments of the development. Its property eventually was closed on.

However, an agreement this spring between the state Department of Transportation, the town and Blackrock now requires Blackrock to kick in about $5.2 million toward construction of the rail station and related facilities.

The construction contract, Flatto said, will include penalties for missed deadlines, and sets 480 days from "mobilization" to completion of the work.

An enclosed waiting room for rail passengers is not included in the public construction -- that is still an option for the developer to exercise -- but town Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart said it's expected that the state DOT will put up some type of temporary structure. The passenger platforms have already been constructed on the site by the state.