City Council gives initial OK to spend $1.6 million on major road construction project
Steamboat Springs — The city of Steamboat Springs has put a $100,000 bonus check on the table to try and motivate a contractor to finish the most impactful phases of a major construction project at a busy commercial center by June 30.
The many businesses along Central Park Drive, which sees 5,000 to 6,300 vehicles per day, post some of their strongest sales of the year in July. City officials are hoping the incentive allows the road to be free of lane closures before that busy month.
If the contractor can’t finish the most intensive road work by then, work would be allowed to resume after Aug. 19.
The Steamboat Springs City Council has given the city initial approval to spend a grand total of $1.629 million this year on the reconstruction of Central Park Drive and Snapdragon Way.
The total is about $250,000 more than city staff was anticipating spending on both projects in 2014 during budget discussions.
The project, which will add new bike lanes, dedicated pedestrian crossings and a roundabout where Central Park Drive runs between Mount Werner and Pine Grove roads, is scheduled to start April 1.
The city will host an open house March 24 to discuss the project schedule and traffic impacts with the community and neighboring businesses.
While the project’s total cost came in above the city’s initial estimates, city engineer Ben Beall told the City Council last week the engineer’s estimate at the time the bids came back this year was not “appreciably lower” than the bid the city plans to accept.
He noted inflation has raised construction costs in recent years.
Private property owners are pitching in for the reconstruction of Snapdragon Way, which is currently one of the most pothole-riddled streets in the city.
The city delayed the entire construction project last year, in large part because it only received one bid that was 25 percent more than the anticipated cost of the project.
When the project was put out to bid this year, the city received three bids.
The totals for all the bids will be released when the current contract is finalized and officially awarded.
Connell Resources, the contractor the city wants to select for the project, will start locating utilities on the roadway this week, and drivers should expect to see some minor traffic delays.
To put the Central Park Drive project into motion, the City Council had to agree to use $100,000 of the city’s reserves to cover additional costs.
Central Park Drive was originally constructed about 30 years ago as part of the Steamboat Village Commercial Center.
City officials say the project is needed to make the road safer and more functional as traffic volumes increase. They note the roadway has shown signs of “surficial failure” in recent years.
By 2032, the city estimates the road could see 2,000 to 4,000 more vehicles per day.
In a report, city officials note businesses adjacent to Central Park Drive currently generate between $240,000 to $360,000 in sales tax revenue each month.
Tax collections were strongest in July last year and lowest in April and May.
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