City pushes pavement repairs back to 2011

October 4, 2010

By Tim Pfarr

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The City Council unanimously voted at its Sept. 21 meeting to delay until next year the city’s pavement overlay projects scheduled for this year.

The projects for the year listed five priority projects, as well as three additional projects in case funding was available.

The council made its decision following a recommendation from city staff to push the projects back because bids for the work were substantially more expensive than had been anticipated.

The city had $426,500 available for the work, but the lower of the two bids the city received was for $470,780.

Contract engineer Roger Kuykendall said the high bids can be attributed to the time of year. He said most construction companies have filled up their workloads for the year, and without needing the additional business, the companies are free to increase their bids and try to make a profit on additional work.

City Manager Rob Wyman said the city put the pavement overlay projects out to bid late this year because of former Public Work Director Maiya Andrews’ resignation in February.

“We were putting out fires all through that period of time,” Wyman said.

The city’s plan is to combine the 2010 and 2011 pavement overlay projects, and put them out to bid early next year, before construction companies fill up their schedules. By combining the projects, the city’s pavement overlay budget for 2011 will likely be more than $1 million.

The risks in postponing pavement overlay projects are further deterioration of roads and a possible increase in oil prices that could increase asphalt prices, making projects more expensive.

Wyman said the only road nearing poor quality that was scheduled to be rebuilt this year was 135th Avenue Southeast, from Southeast 85th Street to 136th Avenue Southeast.

However, Wyman said that city staff carefully examined the road and found that it would be fine waiting a few extra months before being rebuilt. He added that if city officials chose to rebuild the road now, crews would not be able to start work for about a month, and foul weather could substantially interfere with the quality of construction.

In exploring possible rising oil prices, Wyman said staff consulted numerous firms and found that bidding earlier in the year would offset any rises in oil price.

In addition to 135th Avenue Southeast, the city planned to repair four other roads this year.

The additional roads to be repaired were 120th Place Southeast, from Southeast 76th Street to Southeast 78th Street; Southeast 75th Place and 118th Avenue Southeast, from 119th Place to Southeast 77th Place; Southeast 84th Way, 129th Place Southeast and Southeast 86th Place, from the entrance of Lake Boren Park to 129th Avenue Southeast; and Newcastle Way, from 132nd Place Southeast to Newcastle Golf Club Road.

The three additional roads to be repaired if funding permitted were 121st Avenue Southeast, from Southeast 75 Place to the end of the nearby cul-de-sac; Southeast 76th Street, from 120th Place Southeast to the end of the nearby cul-de-sac; and Newcastle Golf Club Road, from Newcastle Way to the curve near the Coal Creek YMCA.

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