Rifle looks into roundabouts again | PostIndependent.com

Rifle looks into roundabouts again

Heidi RiceGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE – After nearly four years on the books, there has been a renewed discussion surrounding the roundabouts at the Interstate 70 interchange in Rifle and negotiations will be sought with two contractors as well as looking at funding options.City council members on Wednesday night gave staff the go-ahead to try to negotiate the cost of the project with at least two contractors who have bid on the project in the past.”This is about the never-ending, ever-present Rifle roundabouts,” said City Manager John Hier at a council workshop. “The project was started prior to 2003 when development was beginning on the south side of the city and we were looking at a way to improve access.”At the time, the Colorado Department of Transportation had given the city an estimate of around $1.5 million for the three roundabouts – one each at the east and west interchange of I-70 and one on the south at Airport Road. The city, in turn, included the estimate when it sought a $4.1 million bond issue for street improvements, which was approved by voters in September 2003.However, CDOT’s estimate turned out to be way off.Currently, bids to build two of the three roundabouts at the interchange have been estimated at around $3.4 million, leaving the city seriously short of funds to construct them.”At the time, we relied on an estimate from CDOT of about $700,000 apiece,” Hier said. “It’s now at least twice that.”The city now has the opportunity for a state grant of $900,000 and city staff hopes that it can negotiate with the contractors for a price it can afford.”Now I think we would like to try and bring back the two contractors and negotiate what we think is acceptable,” Hier said. “Either we spend the money for the purpose of which it was approved or we go back to the voters.”Hier said the city also could seek other funds to make up the difference in the shortfall and pool the funds to see if it can negotiate a price with one of the contractors.If an agreement can be reached, construction would not likely begin before spring of 2008.

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