CDOT tries new bid process for GAPP |

CDOT tries new bid process for GAPP

Jeremy Heiman
Special to the Post Independent

The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to use an entirely new bidding process to select a contractor for the Grand Avenue Paving Project.

Joe Elsen, CDOT’s program engineer, said the GAPP project bidding will be packaged to maximize the possibility of getting a bid that falls within the project’s $4.2 million budget.

Each contractor must bid on three different project scenarios.

Grand Avenue will be paved with 10 inches of concrete from 7th Street either to True Value Hardware, to Hyland Park South, or to 20th Street.

“What we’re really trying to do is put a project out to get the biggest bang for the buck,” Elsen said. “If this work is more expensive than we anticipated, then we’ll have a shorter project than we hoped.”

In the past, bids might come in 15 percent under budget, which would have allowed for a slightly larger project. The new bidding process is designed to avoid bargaining after the fact to do an extra two to four blocks in concrete.

“We want the contracting community to really sharpen their pencils and let the market work to the benefit of the taxpayer,” Elsen said. He oversees highway design and construction in Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and Lake counties.

Elsen said GAPP has so many variables, CDOT can’t be confident that bids on a single scenario will come in close to its budget.

Much of the concrete placement must be done at night, because the road must be opened for traffic during morning and evening rush hours, adding overtime costs and logistical expenses.

“We recognize the need to get two lanes open in the peak direction during those times,” Elsen said. There will be no flaggers during those times.

Especially at the approach to the bridge, in the 700 block of Grand, concrete must be treated with an accelerant so that it cures faster, also to accommodate daily traffic. This factor and many others add expenses that are difficult to calculate.

Elsen said the GAPP bid advertisement will be made available May 6. The call for bids will be posted in local newspapers and on CDOT’s Web site.

At that time, contractors will gain access to the plans, sketches and specifications that they need to calculate their bids.

The project is slated to run from September 2004 through May 2005, with a break in December and January next winter.

Contact Jeremy Heiman: 945-8515, ext. 534

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