Ninth Street Widening Bids Come In Slightly Over Budget

The Holtville City Council has accepted the lowest bid for a street improvement project, even though it came in a little higher than expected.

The council awarded the contract to Pyramid Construction Co. for $343,480 at its meeting on Monday night. It was the lowest of four submitted, with the engineer’s estimate being a little over $337,000.

The highest bid was almost $488,000.

The project will be the widening of a section of West Ninth Street, once the Imperial Irrigation District pipes the section of canal running alongside the street underground.

The gas company has been working to relocate pipelines between Palm and Olive Avenues, and the IID is expected to relocate some power poles and electric lines soon. After that, IID crews will pipe the canal underground, allowing Pyramid to widen that block of Ninth Street to its full width.

The street widening should make parking and passing along that short stretch safer.

A new addition will be a fourway stop at Ninth and Olive. Motorists will have to stop in all four directions of travel, something that may take some getting used to.

Completion of the project is expected by February 16. It will leave the long block between Olive and Melon as the only stretch with an above ground canal on Ninth Street.

The IID’s portion of the project will amount to approximately $294,000. The project is being funded through the CalTrans Regional Surface Transportation Program, which is paying for the bulk of the canal under-grounding and road construction. The city applied for a grant through the program in the fall of 2015. The initial grant of $560,000 was approved, although it was later increased to $628,000 when it was determined how much the project would actually cost.

The city has to provide matching funds for the project in the amount of $82,000.

In a related matter, the council approved a new contract with The Holt Group for engineering and construction management services for the Ninth Street project in the amount of $57,425.

City Manager Nick Wells explained that the contract has to be approved a second time after an earlier vote because of new CalTrans rules.

He said that CalTrans is requiring local agencies that seek Requests For Proposal (RFPs) for engineering or architectural projects to judge the RFPs on their merits only. After the best company is selected, that company’s bid can then be opened to see if the amount is within the amount budgeted for the project.

Bids for both projects were awarded with unanimous 5-0 votes.

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