Skyrocketing construction costs force reassessment of County Rd. 6 upgrades

Skyrocketing construction costs force reassessment of County Rd. 6 upgrades
By John Mullen
Several projects planned by the city of Gulf Shores have had to have redesigns and changes because of the skyrocketing costs of materials. Now, the improvement project for the intersection of County Road 6 or Oak Road West and State Route 59 are under the same scrutiny.
Construction Manager Clint Colvin made a presentation to the city council at the May 6 work session to recommend hiring Neel-Shaffer for the preliminary work in the design phase for $140,954. The council will vote on the proposal at the May 13 regular session.
The total project paid in part with BUILD or Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development is budgeted for $4.2 million and Colvin said the goal of this first phase is to see how much work can be accomplished within that budget.
The contract will include surveying the County Road 6 West right of way to the Sportsplex and include traffic counts, traffic analysis, preparing for new signals and presenting plans to city staffers to find the most cost-efficient and effective use of the money.
“And, preparation of cost estimates so that basically we can figure out exactly how much project we can construct for the money that we have budgeted,” Colvin said. “Once we have all that nailed down, we’ll get a proposal in the future to do the final design. All of it will be surveyed so we can come up with some options on what we want to do.”
A pedestrian path along County Road 6 is also a part of this plan and design for it is included in the first phase budget.
“This does include an additional westbound turn lane off of 59 headed north,” Colvin said.
“Then construction of what we anticipate to be five lanes there at the intersection and transitioning somewhere down the line but hopefully, at least to the second entrance of Colonial Traditions and hopefully farther.”
Other projects written into the BUILD grant include the pedestrian bridge on East Second Street over the Intracoastal Waterway which also had to be redesigned to save costs.
During work session,
council discussed:
• Hiring Engineering Design Group for $19,430 for survey and platting services for city’s new justice center at the old Sacred Heart Medical building south of Cotton Creek Drive or County Road 4 and east of State Route 59.
• Accepting a proposal from Neel-Shaffer for design services for improvements to County Road 6 or Oak Road West for $140,954. The entire project is $4.2 million and will include widening of the County Road 6 intersection with State Route 59 and a sidewalk.
The project will be funded in part by a federal BUILD grant or Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development. See related article.
• Authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with Gulf Shores Utilities for reimbursement of $3.5 million for relocation of utilities on the west side of State Route 59 from the bridge north to County Road 6 for the ongoing widening project adding a third southbound lane on the roadway. The total project will cost $4.5 million and the extra million is for upgrades Gulf Shores Utilities wants to make to existing infrastructure along the relocation route.
• Increasing the general fund revenue by $2 million in part to “fund salaries and operating expense to the general fund and increase general fund revenues $2,020,250 for beach fund revenues.”
• Amending the city ordinance to add regulations for screened enclosures that are not covering a pool and moving the regulations for swimming pools and tennis court screened enclosures to the appropriate location within the ordinance.
• Awarding the bid for the heating and air units for Fire Station No. 1 to Coastal Construction for $680,961. The city previously paid $43,270 for design services for the system to Dell Consulting and in February bought $240,227 worth of equipment from Trane to replace the current systems.
• Awarding a bid for City Store merchandise to Empire Printing for various apparel items.