Path may not get completed

By: 
Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ Reporter

 

S&S Builders of Gillette has until the end of September to finish the bike path that extends from The Hop on Main Street east to the port of entry path and from Newcastle Elementary School to Gray Addition or the project may not be completed, according to city engineer Mike Moore. 

On Sept. 17, Moore reported that the grant for the project expires on Sept. 30, meaning whatever part of the path is not completed by that date will not have funding, unless the city opts to fund the remainder of the path. Moore noted that an extension would be needed to continue with grant funding, and that the city does not have an extension on the grant. 

As previously reported, bids for the project, which were originally let for the 2017 construction season, came in $130,000 higher than the $254,000 budgeted. The budgeted amount included grant and match monies, as well as funding from the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternative Program. 

The city went back to the drawing board, delaying the project until the 2018 season and rebid the project earlier this year. The bike path was modified to trim the project costs back, allowing the bike path to be completed. 

Now, according to Moore, the revised project may not be completed. 

“They are making good progress, but they have until the end of the month to finish,” Moore said, noting that as of Sept. 17 that meant just a week and a half of available time was left. 

“They (the contractors) will most likely finish The Hop section and then they will move to the grade school section,” Moore said. 

He added that he had directed the contractors to focus on the grade school section, on school grounds, and from there move south toward Gray Addition. 

“They will get as much done as they can. The goal is that they hopefully get to Gray Addition, and they are working towards that goal,” Moore said. 

Moore said that as the project gets closer to the Sept. 30 deadline, he will inform council members of the progress and gauge their interest on completing the project with city’s money. 

“The cost of the section after that date will be the city’s full responsibility; there will be no grant monies,” Moore said. 

He noted that the city had previously had one grant extension. 

“Once the grant ends without extension, we (the city) cannot get any more money from the grant,” Moore said. “I hope they work fast.” 

Moore later told the News Letter Journal that the status of the bike path project is in no way the fault of S&S Builders. 

“The date on the grant is sooner than the contract end,” Moore said, noting that the contract gives the contractors until the end of November to complete the project. 

Moore credited delays between opening the bid, awarding the bid and sending the notification of award for the project to the overall delay in the project. 

“It is nothing on the fault of the contractors. They have met all of our schedules,” Moore said. “The delay came down to the decision and notification process. We had two schedules and various alternatives to pick from based on the available budget. We then had to get the state to concur before we could award the bid.” 

Moore noted that the completion of the pre project notification and decision process took over a month. 

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