First highway stimulus bids save Colorado nearly $1.5 million |

First highway stimulus bids save Colorado nearly $1.5 million

Kevin Flynn

Hungry highway contractors have underbid CDOT’s cost estimates on the first five federally funded stimulus-program projects by nearly 10 percent, saving the state $1.43 million that it can put toward other projects.

Contractors have been telling officials they can expect highly competitive bids on the stimulus-funded projects, which have provided a flood of money into an industry that has been hurting for work this season.

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced the apparent low bidders on five projects last week. Internal estimates on their construction cost totaled nearly $15 million. The total of the low bids came to just more than $13.5 million.

“If this trend continues, we may be able to accumulate enough funding to add more construction projects to our list,” CDOT Director Russ George said.

CDOT didn’t announce bid results for a sixth project advertised with the first group ” replacement of four bridges on Interstate 76 in Adams County.

The largest spread came on the smallest of the five projects, resurfacing about a mile of Belleview Avenue between Federal Boulevard and Santa Fe Drive in Littleton.

Aggregate Industries of Golden bid $407,400 for the job, which CDOT engineers had estimated at $581,461, a difference of 30 percent.

The largest single job in the first round, resurfacing Interstate 70 from Vail Pass to Silverthorne, produced the largest dollar savings. The engineering estimate for the work was $7.41 million. Asphalt Paving Co. of Golden bid $6.8 million, a savings of $610,000 ” more than enough on its own to fund the Belleview Avenue job.

Colorado and all other states are under pressure to spend federal stimulus money as quickly as possible to put people to work and get the money flowing into the economy.

Under the highway-construction part of the program, states must commit half of their allocations within 120 days ” by June 30 ” or risk losing what’s left to other states that have shovel-ready projects to put out on the street.

For Colorado, that translates to $141.4 million to go to bid by the end of June. The first five contracts represent about 10 percent of that total.

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