County launches first major road project of 2009

Archuleta County launched its first road capital improvement project for 2009 when the board of county commissioners, on March 31, awarded Davis Engineering the contract for engineering services for paving Park Avenue and a portion of Cloud Cap Avenue.

According to county staff, the project will progress in two phases. First, Davis will tackle the engineering and design for asphalt paving on Park Avenue from North Pagosa Boulevard to Cloud Cap Avenue, and Cloud Cap Avenue from the intersection with Park Avenue to Piedra Road — a total of about 2.1 miles.

With Davis beginning work soon after the contract award, final design and engineering plans will be complete by May 11.

Following completion of the design and engineering component, the county will then issue a request for constructions bids in early May with the plan to award the contract in early June. Actual construction, phase two, should begin by June 15.

Although the vote to issue the RFP and award the engineering contract appears redundant when compared to prior board action, County Administrator Greg Schulte explained the scope and scale of the project have expanded, thus precipitating the need for a new RFP and additional design and engineering work. For example, and according to Schulte, the original project had just a section of Park Avenue slated for resurfacing from North Pagosa Boulevard to Carlee Place.

To date, Archuleta County has spent about $50,000 with Smith Engineering for engineering and design work linked to the smaller scale project, although Schulte said he hopes much of the Smith Engineering work will be carried over to the expanded project.

Schulte said county staff had originally decided to chip seal Park Avenue from North Pagosa to Carlee Place. However, after reviewing traffic counts and the road’s condition Schulte said staff opted for paving instead.

Although an expanded project will cost more, Schulte said he is confident the county can handle the expense by using a combination of Road Capital Improvement Fund and Ballot Issue 1A dollars earmarked for road maintenance. And, Schulte added, county staff think the expanded paving project is worth the effort and expense.

In addition to commencement of the Park Avenue project, board action Tuesday signaled the imminent approach of a major graveling operation on a variety of county roads.

During their regular meeting Tuesday the board chose Commercial Rock Products Incorporated to supply 35,000 tons of gravel.

Archuleta County Road and Bridge Superintendent David Guilliams said the gravel will be used to resurface portions of County Road 302 (Mill Creek Road), County Road 200 (Snowball Road), County Road 326 (Upper Blanco Road), County Road 335 (Lower Blanco Road) and Hersch Avenue.

Guilliams said Commercial Rock Products’ bid came in at $200,900 — about $95,000 less than expected.

The county’s last gravel purchase was in 2006.

The county will use Ballot Issue 1A funds earmarked for road maintenance for the purchase.

james@pagosasun.com