Thompson Road repair plan stalled by higher-than-expected cost

Thompson Road connects U.S. Highway 40 to the City Market shopping center and Grand Elk neighborhood.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

At an Oct. 11, 2022 meeting, Granby’s board of trustees voted to allocate up to $500,000 each from the town and Grand Elk General Improvement District funds to repair Thompson Road, a street that connects the City Market shopping center and Grand Elk neighborhood to U.S. Highway 40.

SGM, an engineering company, had estimated the repair would cost $1.5 million in 2021, and the town expected Dillon Cos., a subsidiary of Kroger, which owns City Market, would put $500,000 towards repairs as well. 

On Jan. 10, town manager Ted Cherry told the trustees that the town only received one bid for the repair project after putting out a request for proposals and that the bid came in just under $2 million — $580,910 more than the engineers’ estimation.

United Cos. submitted the one bid, and Cherry said the company identified mobilizations costs as the main cause of the high price.

“The reason for that large difference in estimate versus bid is basically they will have to bring crews up here to do the work,” Cherry said. “They’ll have to house them and feed them and all of that stuff over the 60-day period of time for the build out.”

Town staff put together three scenarios for the trustees to consider. The first would have the town reject United’s bid and rebid the project later in 2023 or 2024, the second would have staff contact Kroger about contributing up to $666,000 so the three entities could still split the project cost evenly, and the third would have the town cover the additional cost and let the general improvement district and Kroger pay the originally agreed $500,000.

Trustees asked Dan Coakley from SGM if rebidding the project would be likely to increase or decrease the bid, and he said the cost would likely go up. He also said he reached out to more local construction companies that would not have as high mobilization costs but did not find any interested companies.

The board discussed the high mobilization costs and potential ways to lower costs, including United possibly bidding on the “halfway pathway” project to finish the sidewalk from Kaibab Park to City Market and spreading mobilization costs across both projects.

Eventually, trustees decided to go with the second scenario, instructing staff to work with United to lower costs as much as possible and bring the issue back at the Jan. 24 meeting and try to get Kroger to agree to increased funding so that it, the town and general improvement district can split the cost evenly. Cherry said Grand County has indicated it would contribute around $50,000 to the project as well.

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