County eyes ‘significant’ savings in 2017 road construction

By Per Peterson

Lyon County Highway Engineer Aaron VanMoer said the county should see some significant savings as it hits the roads this construction season.
There a number of important projects on the docket for this spring, including one near Tracy. In anticipation of some savings when attaining bids this year, the county actually increased the size of its overall contract and added County Road 11 — a stretch of highway 5 miles north of Tracy from County Road 2 to County Road 22. This project was originally slated for 2018.
The 16-mile bituminous overlay project comes with a $1,417,960.61 price tag and falls under the local option sales tax umbrella of projects. VanMoer said the target start time for the project is mid-May and the contract has been awarded to Central Specialties out of Alexandria. The road will remain open to traffic during construction.
“There will be flaggers, pilot cars, but is shouldn’t be a significant obstruction,” VanMoer said.
The revenue from the 0.5% local option sales tax for county highway projects has been coming in close to what was estimated, VanMoer said. The county estimates an overall 20.5% savings in 2017 and a 41% savings next year.
“There has been a significant savings in the bid prices of the construction projects,” he said. “The 2017-scheduled sales tax-specific projects were 13 miles of bituminous overlay. We added 16 miles of CSAH 11 to this contract which was slated for 2018 construction. We saw a $1.4M savings over original CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) estimates likely due to a decrease in oil prices and because we put together a large-tonnage bituminous contract.”
VanMoer said the county anticipates bumping up future projects, perhaps as much as a year ahead of time.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.