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CDOT finds apparent taker on Hwy 133 construction project

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By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

After the first round of bids came in too high for CDOT’s Highway 133 construction project, the second round attracted more interest and an apparent low bid from a Grand Junction company.

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“The apparent low bidder was United Companies … and CDOT is in the process of awarding the construction contract to United Companies,” CDOT resident engineer Roland Wagner told The Sopris Sun.

Wagner said he expects construction activities to begin in mid to late May; the construction contract has a Nov. 14 completion date.

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On a related note, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will host an open house to explain the project at Sopris Shopping Center from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on May 12. Representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the town and United Companies will be on hand to describe the project and it’s impact on traffic, businesses and related issues, and to field questions.

Literally years in the making, the project will see Highway 133 reconstructed to three lanes from Dolores Way to Main Street, construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street, an asphalt overlay between Cowen Drive and Dolores Way, an asphalt overlay between Main Street and Meadowood (south of Main Street), new signalization at Snowmass Drive, new trail connections between Hendricks/Sopris Drive and Main Street and between Main Street and Dolores Way on the west side of Highway 133, plus pedestrian crosswalk improvements and lighting improvements.

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Funding for the project breaks down as follows:

• CDOT — $7.319 million;

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• Town of Carbondale — $675,000 (roadway improvements, and roadway lighting and water line improvements);

• Garfield County — $500,000 (roadway improvements);

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• RFTA — $100,000 (trail improvements near the Village Road park-n-ride lot).

Last fall, the town of Carbondale and a federal mineral lease district partnered on a utility relocation project in conjunction with the current construction plan, according to Wagner.

Wagner said the first round of bidding in March attracted less than three bids and they were more than 10 percent over the CDOT engineer’s estimate.

“In a case such as this, where less than three bids are received and the bids received are more than 10 percent over the engineer’s estimate, the bids are rejected at the table and we do not disclose the bidding contractor information or their bid prices per Colorado Statue. This allows for competitive re-advertising of a project,” Wagner explained.

The new bids were opened on April 17 with five bids received.

Wagner said that CDOT would like to thank the Project Leadership Team “which provided valuable input into the context sensitivity of the project,” town staffers Larry Ballenger, Janet Buck and Jay Harrington “for their timely coordination,” mayor Stacey Bernot and the town trustees for their “input, support and resource allocation” and “to our Garfield County, RFTA, town of Carbondale and FML district funding partners.”

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