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County to pave Holiday Avenue

Despite tough economic times, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has taken steps to repair the county’s aging and ailing road infrastructure, and a with a unanimous board vote Tuesday, another project long on the back burner — paving Holiday Avenue, located in the Pagosa in the Pines II subdivision in the Pagosa Lakes area — will move one step closer to completion.

According to Archuleta County Administrator Greg Schulte, lower than expected bids for Park Avenue reconstruction — $1.81 million as opposed to the anticipated $2.3 million — allowed the county to explore the possibility of paving Holiday Avenue and staff pursued a change order request with Park Avenue pavers, Elam Construction.

According to Archuleta County Public Works Director Ken Feyen, Elam Construction bid the Holiday Avenue paving project at $508,609 which was about $4,000 less than Feyen anticipated.

“We’re very pleased with the numbers. They (Elam Construction) asked for a time extension, and we felt that was reasonable,” Feyen said.

The extension request puts the project completion date at Nov. 16.

Both Feyen and Schulte said working with Elam Construction on a change order, as opposed to putting the Holiday Avenue project out to bid, eliminated logistical hassles, potential mobilization and other construction-related delays should the county have undertaken a full-blown bid process. In addition, Feyen said Elam’s Holiday Avenue bid — like their Park Avenue bid — looked particularly appealing because their price would remain fixed, regardless of the cost of asphalt come paving time.

By contrast, other bidders in the Park Avenue bid process included an “oil variance,” meaning their final price would fluctuate depending on the going rate for asphalt at the time paving was due to begin.

Feyen also estimated that an entirely new bidding process might have pushed the project into early winter, thus jeopardizing completion in 2009.

“It made no sense (to delay). We can get this job done now, this season,” Feyen said.

Feyen explained Park Avenue reconstruction and Holiday Avenue paving will run concurrent. In fact, Feyen said Elam crews have already finished roto-milling Holiday as a precursor to paving.

In the meantime, crews continue road prep work and drainage repair, with actual paving to begin later in the summer.