CDOT picks firm to repair canyon
Repairs to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon could be completed within two months – weather willing.The Colorado Department of Transportation on Tuesday chose Kiewit Western Co. of Littleton as the apparent low bidder for the job of fixing damage caused by a massive rockfall just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels on Thanksgiving Day. The company submitted the apparent low bid of $681,775 for the repair work.The company will begin work today and has 60 days to complete it before a $5,000-per-day penalty would kick in. Kiewit Western would be rewarded $5,000 for each day it finishes early, up to a maximum reward of $35,000.”We feel very confident we can get the job done in 60 days, but there’s always the weather that’s going to be the unknown in all of this work,” said Hunter Sydnor, a representative for Kiewit Western. “But I think we’re prepared to get it done.”Because of the emergency nature of the work, CDOT was able to be innovative in contracting to get it done, the agency said in a news release. The work will begin just four working days after the rockfall.”Typically when we get a project out it takes a lot longer,” said Mindy Crane, a CDOT spokesperson.”Our contractors worked very hard to make sure that we could get something in place and get those repairs going as soon as possible.”Other bidders included Ames Construction of Aurora, at $775,295, and BTE Concrete Formwork of Glenwood Springs, at $819,140.An estimated 200 tons of rock fell about 1,500 feet onto the highway, knocking van-sized holes through the deck in each direction and closing I-70 for about 30 hours. Since then, traffic has been restricted to one lane in each direction, which will continue to be the case during the construction work.The eastbound lanes will be repaired first, and one eastbound lane kept open during that work, which contractors expect to take about a month. Then both westbound and eastbound traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lanes while work takes place on the westbound lanes.Kiewit Western will fix eight damaged sections of bridge deck on the eastbound lanes and roadway damage on the westbound lanes. The work will require a significant amount of asphalt pavement to be removed and replaced, according to CDOT.Damaged sections of several hundred feet of concrete barrier and guardrail will be replaced. And Kiewit Western will design and build about 50 feet of new retaining wall, about 23 feet high, along the westbound lanes to replace damaged sections.Trucks more than 12 feet wide and 100 feet in length continue to be prohibited from traveling through Glenwood Canyon.CDOT has previously estimated that the cost of the rockfall will reach $1 million. Crane said that’s still possible, when expenses such as the cleanup work of the past few days, and possible contract revisions and late penalties are considered.Sydnor called 60 days “a very aggressive schedule” for repairing the highway.”Obviously because of that incentive we’re going to do everything we can to get it done quicker,” she said.She said that with its threat of late fees, the contract is a gamble for Kiewit Western. It faces the uncertainty of the weather in the winter and the generally tough working conditions in the cold, shaded canyon.”That’s what you do for business,” she said.She said the hurried nature of bidding on the contract was different for Kiewit Western, but it has a lot of experience doing highway construction and repair for CDOT.She asked motorists to drive carefully during the repair work. Traffic will be shifted around and work will take place close to traffic, she said.”The lanes might not look the same every day. It’s very important for people to drive slowly and pay attention,” she said. “For everybody’s safety, drive slowly.” Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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