Fingers cross on Carbondale highway bids |

Fingers cross on Carbondale highway bids

Fingers are crossed in Carbondale after the town received only one bid by last Friday’s deadline on the Highway 82-Highway 133 intersection improvement project.

Assistant town planner Bentley Henderson said Tuesday he hadn’t reviewed the complicated bid package yet. He expects to brief the Board of Trustees either April 23 or May 7.

Since last year, Carbondale has wanted to add a turn lane on the Highway 133 intersection for motorists headed downvalley on Highway 82.

A turn lane would allow two lanes of traffic to make the left turn onto Highway 82, sending 12 to 15 cars through the intersection per cycle and easing the afternoon traffic jams that sometimes stretch a half mile or farther to the south.

Carbondale budgeted $155,000 for the upgrades last year, but the sole bid came in at $302,000. So the project was shelved until this year.

The town could be in a better position this year. The project budget has been raised by $45,000, to $200,000. Henderson said the Colorado Department of Transportation also did some work on the intersection last year, which might cut costs for the project.

Henderson has said CDOT won’t pay for the extra lanes, because the project isn’t included in the department’s long-range budget.

If the project budget is in line with the bids, the contractor will have to coordinate with CDOT, which has scheduled a Highway 82 paving project from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs this summer.

“So the (construction) time line is up in the air,” Henderson said. “It’s kind of a juggling act on this one.”

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