YVRA bid gap almost $2M

Airport expansion generates just one proposal

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The lone bid for the expanded aircraft parking ramp and new access road at Yampa Valley Regional Airport came in nearly $2 million more than budget.

County Manager Tom Sullivan said Monday that there's a possibility the discrepancy between engineering estimates of $7.5 million for the project and the $9.4 bid by Connell Resources will cause the project to be rebid and delayed until the summer 2006. Engineers and representatives of Connell are going over the specifications to see whether there is a way to close the gap, Sullivan said.

"This is disappointing, but I don't think there's any reason to panic," Yampa Valley Airport Commission Chairman Marty Kolonel said. "I really think the reason (the county didn't get more bids) was the timing. By the time (federal grants were confirmed), most people were already booked up."

"Adding $2 million onto the project is a big thing," County Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Sullivan said that adding even $200,000 to the overall project would have been more than the county could swallow.

"We were very surprised to have only one bid," Sullivan said.

He said that although three bid packets were picked up by contractors, and the county's engineering consultant mailed additional packets to Front Range contractors, there were no takers.

In addition to the expanded ramp and new access road, the project includes expanded parking lots. The ramp alone accounts for $5.4 million of the total. It would allow the airport to accommodate more of the larger passenger jets, such as the Boeing 757.

The terminal building ex----pansion, which is paired with the ramp expansion within Phase II of the YVRA expansion project, already has been pushed to next summer because of a postponement of federal grants.

The terminal expansion, when complete, would expand the holding area where passengers wait for their flights to be called after going through security. It also would allow concessions to be moved to the main level.

Originally, both projects were slated for this summer. There was some advantage to getting the ramp and access road work done this summer, Kolonel said, but now, the two pieces of the project are slated to go forward together in 2006.

"I really think we can still make our deadline," Kolonel said. "The project should be substantially complete" by the start of 2006-07 ski season.

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