Howard board tables action on Velp Avenue trail project
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Construction of a trail from the west edge of village hall to the Mountain Bay Trail is on hold for now after the Howard village board tabled action Monday, May 10.
That’s because the low bid of $1,120,661 from Advance Construction is nearly $400,000 more than the estimate created with Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) pricing, said Director of Engineering Mike Kaster.
“The bids did not come in in our favor,” he said. “They were significantly higher than the budget.”
Kaster said staff believes the additional cost is due to the timing of the bids, project schedule, construction access and also state and federal requirements for portions of the work.
He said he hoped to re-bid the project later this month with some minor revisions in construction access and designs, as well as adjustments in the project schedule to allow the contractor to complete portions of the work next year, but he found out from the DOT there would not be time to do that because of the grant restrictions to re-bid.
Kaster asked the board to allow staff to look into other options for constructing the trail project, possibly using public works crews and subcontracting out some work, and perhaps extending the completion of the trail into next year.
“These avenues that we’re going to be investigating would potentially be letting the grant go by the bye,” he said. “It’s a lot of money – it’s $500,000 (in grant money). However, my initial findings – what I’ve been able to gather since Friday afternoon (May 7) to today (May 10) – I feel as though we should be able to save in excess of $600,000 total for the project, which would be roughly $100,000 for the village, total, by letting that grant money go.”
Kaster said he wasn’t “100 percent confident in those numbers just yet,” so he asked the board to table action on the project until the May 24 meeting, when he could come back with some additional information and make a recommendation on the project.
The village previously applied for grant money with a state Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP) designed to be the northernmost link in an effort to connect the Mountain Bay Trail in Howard to the Fox River Trail in Green Bay by constructing the Velp Avenue Multi-Use Trail project.
Kaster said the project’s intent is to construct a trail from the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Lancaster Creek, at the west edge of village hall, extending along Lancaster Creek to Velp Avenue, then along Velp Avenue to the Mountain Bay Trail.