Climbing lane will go to top of Wildridge
AVON — Don’t let anyone tell you construction projects never come in under budget.
In Avon this week, the Town Council learned that its effort to build phase one of a two-phase climbing lane up Metcalf Road has received a bid that was so much less than what they had budgeted for, they can now afford both phase one and phase two at the same time. The entire project will be completed this year.
“The bid came in $300,000 under the town engineer’s estimate,” Town Manager Virginia Egger told the council Tuesday. “We believe the bid was so successful because we bid early — we try to get out the door in February so that we’re the first game, as contractors look, not the last game.”
The council, in turn, gave Egger permission to negotiate exclusively with Ewing Construction, the low bidders on phase one, for the second phase of the project, rather than putting it out to bid again for other companies to compete for the contract.
“The mobilization costs to bring in another contractor to finish this, I think would not be cost effective,” said councilman Buz Reynolds.
The Metcalf Road climbing lane is a project the town has wanted to see completed for years.
“We were originally going to do it in 2012 — because of concerns with recession, it was delayed,” said town engineer Justin Hildreth.
With more than 11 miles of trails being developed in the West Avon Preserve abutting the Wildridge neighborhood in 2014 and 2015, demand for the climbing lane is on the rise. The first phase — starting from Nottingham Road and going to the Wildwood turnoff — is much more expensive, more than triple the cost of the second phase. The second phase — from the turnoff to the stop sign at Old Trail Road — is expected to cost $225,000 and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2020
“It’s a combination of safety, and increase and use,” Avon councilman Scott Prince, a Wildridge resident and biking enthusiast, said of the reasons to go through with the project now. “It’s absolutely one of my priorities to get it done prior to 2020.”
CLIMBING TOWARD CLOSING COSTS
Also a Wildridge resident, Avon councilman Matt Gennett said he has been a longtime supporter of the Metcalf Road climbing lane.
“I want to see more money allocated to projects exactly like this,” he said. “Recreation, specifically this type of recreation, provides a huge benefit to this community for a comparatively small investment.”
Nevertheless, Gennett voted against a budget amendment associated with the climbing lane on Tuesday.
“I couldn’t figure out what the association was between finishing this project and what we were voting on,” he said after the meeting. “I was just sitting there scratching my head.”
The capital projects fund amendment that cleared the way for Egger to negotiate on the completion of the Metcalf Road climbing lane was, as stated by Town Finance Director Scott Wright, actually an effort to amend the capital projects fund budget to provide an extra $25,000 for closing costs on the purchase of the Mountain Vista Office Building at 140 Mikaela Way, otherwise known as the Skier Building.
“But tonight if you adopt this budget amendment we will move forward to complete the bike climbing lane on Metcalf Road,” Egger told the council.
“I’m pretty sure we can finish the climbing lane without supporting the purchase of the Skier Building,” Gennett said after the meeting. “I think there was an effort to lump the two together, which did not have to be there.”
Lane closures on Metcalf Road will begin the first week of June and will be during daylight hours only. Residents are encouraged to take Buck Creek Road as an alternative.