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County awards Light Plant Road reconstruction contract


The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) voted to award the County Road (CR) 119 (Light Plant Road) reconstruction project to Ignacio based paving company PAP LLC at its May 7 meeting and approved contract documents for the project at a May 21 meeting.

The bids for the project were discussed at the BoCC work session on May 7, with Derek Woodman, then the county manager, explaining that the county received four bids for the reconstruction project, with costs ranging from $1.78 million to $2.433 million.

He stated that the low bid was from PAP for $1,783,582.

Woodman indicated that there had been “quite a bit of discussion” surrounding PAP, which was not awarded the North Pagosa Boulevard and U.S. 160 intersection reconstruction project earlier in the year despite being the lowest bidder, but had received some other project awards for the county “in recent years.”

“They are a completely rebuilt company and so we felt that it would be appropriate to award them the contract for Light Plant Road,” Woodman said. “That’s a little over 2.5 miles and that will be end to end from [Apache Street] to [U.S. 84]. So, that’s the recommendation.”

Commissioner Veronica Medina asked what Woodman meant when he said that PAP is a “rebuilt company” and if there were issues with the company before.

Woodman explained that PAP performed two other projects for the county recently, including a road reconstruction project on North Pagosa Boulevard on the bridge near Village Lake and the North Pagosa Boulevard reconstruction from the bridge to Bastille Drive where there were “some administrative struggles,” schedule overruns, asphalt acquisition issues and traffic-control issues.

He added that residents contributed to the traffic control issues by ignoring or moving barricades and “nearly running over” PAP staff.

The delays and issues ultimately resulted in the county issuing a $10,000 penalty for PAP, he indicated.

Woodman stated that he and Public Works Director Mike Torres spoke with the owner of PAP, who indicated that the company is still “extremely interested” in working with Archuleta County.

The CR 119 project will involve only a small number of residents who live on the road, Woodman explained, and the road will be closed to everything except local traffic to homes on the road.

Medina asked Woodman why the county was not considering any of the other bids for the project.

He replied that the staff recommendation to select PAP was based on its superior pricing, noting that the county has a “great relationship” with all the contractors who submitted bids, including Four Corners Materials, who is currently working on the North Pagosa Boulevard/U.S. 160 intersection paving project; Elam Construction, which performed a paving project for the county on Cloman Boulevard two years ago; and Strohecker Asphalt and Paving.

He added that staff expected the Strohecker bid to be lower in cost than it was due to the company being based in Pagosa Springs and not having to mobilize any equipment.

Woodman concluded that the county is trying to be “conservative” and save money on its paving projects to ensure that more projects can be completed.

“I don’t always think it’s the best practice to go with the cheapest bid,” Medina said.

“And we did not,” Woodman replied.

“It’s about — we want to make sure the quality of the work, just staying on time,” she added. “Because all of those things are money, all money.”

Woodman expressed agreement with Medina and stated that the quality of PAP’s work has been similar to that of other companies.

Commissioner Ronnie Maez commented that PAP also experienced difficulties in securing material for paving and retaining employees, which contributed to the delays on its most recent North Pagosa Boulevard reconstruction project.

“I don’t see a problem with it, but I do expect performance out of it,” Maez said.

Commissioner Warren Brown requested that a clause be included in the contract that PAP provide a weekly update on the project’s progress to ensure the county is well informed, in addition to penalty clauses for delays.

“Completely agree with all comments,” Woodman concluded.

At the May 7 BoCC meeting, the BoCC heard a comment from PAP owner Ryan Farmer, who stated the company has an “open-door policy” and hopes to have a strong relationship with the county and BoCC.

He also commented that the delays on the North Pagosa Boulevard project included equipment malfunctions, rain delays and a two-week period where the company could not get asphalt delivered.

Farmer added that many of these issues had been remedied and that he hoped the company could make a “better impression.”

The BoCC then unanimously approved awarding the CR 119 reconstruction project to PAP and directed County Attorney Todd Weaver to finalize the contract documents.

At the May 21 BoCC meeting, the board unanimously approved the contract documents for the project.

Roadwork update

County Communications Specialist Ashley Springer explained in an interview that a preconstruction meeting for the CR 119 project will be held in the last week of May and that work is expected to start on June 3, although she noted this date could change based on the results of the meeting.

She stated that the project is anticipated to last about 120 days and will involve the full closure of CR 119 between U.S. 84 and Apache Street to all but local traffic for the entirety of the project.

Springer stated that the North Pagosa Boulevard/U.S. 160 intersection project, which resurfaced a portion of North Pagosa Boulevard between U.S. 160 and Bastille Drive in addition to a small part of Navajo Trail Drive, was completed in the last week.

At a May 14 BoCC work session, Medina added that this project experienced some rain delays in the last week, but remained on schedule.

At a May 21 joint work session of the BoCC and the Pagosa Springs Town Council, county Public Works Director Mike Torres explained that magnesium chloride application is continuing on schedule, with crews having finished work in the Meadows subdivision, Lakewood Village and other portions of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, and now moving to treat roads in the Lake Hatcher area.

He added that the process has been highly efficient this year and that he hopes to have magnesium chloride applied to eligible roads in the county by the end of June.

The county is also using a “floating” blading crew to maintain roads while most Road and Bridge staff are focused on magnesium chloride application, Torres explained.