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CDOT finds apparent taker on Hwy 133 construction project 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. “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. 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. Funding for the project breaks down as follows: • CDOT — $7.319 million; • Town of Carbondale — $675,000 (roadway improvements, and roadway lighting and water line improvements); • Garfield County — $500,000 (roadway improvements); • 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.”

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

Town Council om page 5 clock on 25 leases, issued in 2003, that were set to expire last year, according to the letter. The letter maintains that the BLM ignored or subverted its own rules in granting the suspensions. • Approved special event liquor licenses for two upcoming events — Dandelion Days on May 9-10, and The Shindig, a fund-raiser for the Mt. Sopris Historical Society, to be held at the historic Thompson House on Aug. 9. • Approved a change in the town’s computer software for collecting and managing sales tax receipts from local businesses, from the Caselle system that has been in place for one year, to a new system called MuniRevs. Town finance director Renae Gustine told the trustees that the MuniRevs system is better suited to the town’s needs. “It will save us money in the long run,” Gustine said. “It will make us more efficient. We can get better reports (submitted monthly to the town board) than we have been.” She also said the local business community has complained about the difficulty of submitting sales tax payments and information under the Caselle system, and that businesses are in favor of the switch to the new software. Sales tax revenues are the single largest component of the town’s annual income. Gustine said she cannot say yet how much staff time will be saved by using the new software, but that she will know more after the new system is up and running in August. • Elected Trustee Allyn Harvey as the new mayor pro-tem, replacing Trustee John Hoffmann, who has been mayor pro-tem for a year. The mayor pro-tem presides over trustee meetings when Mayor Stacey Bernot is not able to attend the meetings.

THANKS...

to our members, supporters, volunteers and dedicated groomers, we all enjoyed another great season at Spring Gulch!

Our world-class cross-country ski trails would not be possible without the generous permission of the NORTH THOMPSON CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION

and CRYSTAL RIVER RANCH.

Thank you for allowing us to use your beautiful land during the winter months. Special thanks to the local governments and sponsoring organizations that went the extra kilometer to support our community-powered skiing: PITKIN COUNTY OPEN SPACE & TRAILS THE TOWN OF CARBONDALE ALPINE BANK

COLD MOUNTAIN RANCH

It’s not too late to show your support. If you enjoyed skiing at Spring Gulch this season and agree that it’s a community asset worth supporting, please visit www.springgulch.org to become a member.

THE SOPRIS SUN, Carbondale’s community supported newspaper • APRIl 24, 2014 • 13

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