Routt County poised to award design contracts for new bridges

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What: Routt County Commissioners consider engineering bids for two rural bridge replacement projects

When: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs

— Routt County staff will recommend Tuesday that the county commissioners hire two different engineering firms, one for each of two bridge replacement projects in far southwest Routt County that won’t begin construction until 2014.

The engineering firm Drexel Barrell, with offices in Steamboat Springs, is the recommended choice for the new Butler Creek Bridge. However, the purchasing and engineering staff is recommending that the county give High Country Engineering of Glenwood Springs, the low bidder on the Green Truss bridge project, an opportunity to do the design work.

Both bridges are in the vicinity of remote Routt County Road 67 on the south fork of the Williams Fork River. A third bridge, the Green Pipe Bridge, already has been designed.

The Green Pipe and Butler Creek bridges were both awarded federal grants that cover the majority of construction costs.

“The important factor is that the county at one time had seven structurally deficient bridges,” Road and Bridge Department Manager Janet Hruby said. “These are three of the last four main structurally deficient bridges.”

Routt County Road and Bridge has 87 bridges that it cares for in its system. The Green Truss Bridge, for example, was built in 1920.

County Manager Tom Sullivan previously said that the county’s funding match on the bridge projects is comparable to what it would spend just to repair one of the old bridges.

For example, the estimated total cost of the Green Pipe Bridge is $1.083 million, Hruby said, and the federal grant will cover $866,000, leaving Routt County with a match of $216,000. The estimated total cost on the Butler Creek Bridge is $691,000, and the Green Truss will cost $816,000. The county will pursue a grant on the Green Truss structure this fall during the next round of funding.

High Country submitted the low bid of $66,000 to design the Green Truss Bridge among eight bidders, of which four submitted bids of more than $114,000. Drexel Barrell bid $84,744. High Country’s two-part bid on Butler Creek was either the lowest or second lowest bid and also came in lower than Drexel Barrell’s bid.

An unnamed county staffer wrote in a memo to the commissioners that High Country has “not worked for Routt County before, but appear to have the experience necessary, have CDOT experience and have good references. We therefore feel this is an excellent opportunity to see how they will perform for us.”

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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