By Linda Bentley | AUGUST 26, 2015

Bike lane project to cost $127,635 more than expected

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CAVE CREEK – The town held a special meeting on Aug. 24 to authorize the expenditure of $50,630 for its share of the $127,635 additional construction funds required to proceed with the Cave Creek/Carefree bike lane project.

According to Nasreen Hasan, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) project manager, Nesbitt Contracting Co., Inc. was the lowest bidder at $3,881,744, which was $127,635 higher than the available project funds.

Federal Aid Funds of $3,538,480, constituting 94.3 percent of the project funding, plus the two towns’ matching funds of $213,885, making up the remaining 5.7 percent, only came to $3,754,109.

Ian Cordwell Ian Cordwell
Hasan stated in an Aug. 18 e-mail to Planning Director Ian Cordwell that both the towns of Carefree and Cave Creek have agreed to pay the cost overage per the executed intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in order to move the project forward for construction, splitting the overage using the ratio of lane miles in each town, with Cave Creek’s share being 39.67 percent.

Hasan stated the project was originally going to be presented to the State Transportation Board for approval for construction on Aug. 25, “to accommodate the town of Carefree’s quick start request.”

Cordwell explained “quick start” was a request requiring the project to start within 18 days of the contract being awarded.

However, due to the need for ADOT to collect the additional funds for construction, the project won’t be presented until the Sept. 18 State Transportation Board meeting.

This means the project start date will be delayed another month and coincide with the start of both towns’ high season.

Kerry Smith spoke during Call to the Public rather than during the agenda item to express his concerns and said it wasn’t clear if this was addressed in the contract or if this was a fixed price contract.

Mayor Vincent Francia clarified that the cost of the project is $127,635 higher that the available project funds.

Cordwell explained the towns were awarded a grant and, of the local match, Carefree would pay approximately 60 percent and Cave Creek would pay the other 40 percent, which he said will be paid from HURF (Highway User Revenue Funds) funds.

Town Manager Peter Jankowski stated the cost ratio was based on the number of lane miles in each town.

Cordwell said overages are addressed in the IGA and says Cave Creek and Carefree will come up with the additional funds.

Francia asked if council were to approve this, what if there were other overages.

Jankowski said ADOT will hold the contractor to the bid and there are contingencies built into the contract in the event there are additional costs.

During public comment, David Smith expressed concerns that the cost overage was causing delay and said in the IGA the contract states the towns are responsible for costs associated with any changes.

He said anything the town does to change or delay the project would result in additional costs.

David Blair, owner of the Quick N Clean Care Wash, said he was concerned about the timing of the project and asked what the problem would be with delaying the start date until after the high season so as to have less impact on the local businesses.

Johnny Ringo said he agreed it should be at the end of season because the businesses need traffic flow.

He said he personally is against the project but understands that cyclists bring commerce to the town and stated, “I think we should delay this until after the season.”

Councilman Thomas McGuire asked staff if the project could be delayed.

Cordwell stated they have the ability to sit down will the contractor to discuss the project’s phases.

Jankowski stated ADOT will not delay and any delay will cost the town more money.

McGuire asked staff to prioritize phases to minimize the impact to the town.

Councilman Mark Lipsky said he didn’t know why they would want to impose minor chaos on the businesses in town.

Cordwell said Jankowski was right in that delay will add to cost.

Esser moved to approve the expenditure and said, “Let me tell you how government works.”

He said the project has been around for about five years and if the project drops out of the five-year timeframe, the project won’t happen.

Lipsky said, “I think this will bring a tremendous amount of commerce to this town.”

Councilwoman Susan Clancy said, “It’s everywhere now – bike lanes. They want to get people out of their cars.”

Jankowski added some businesses will benefit from the project when it’s completed and pointed out the Horny Toad will get a left turn lane into its parking lot.

Council voted unanimously to approve the additional expenditure.

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