City awards design contract for bus lanes
ASPEN Before the swearing-in of the new City Council, the “old” board on Monday approved spending $500,000 to design the new bus lanes from Buttermilk to the Maroon Creek roundabout.However, it is not city money that will fund the project, which voters approved in May. The money will come from the EOTC fund, funded by a half-cent transit sales and use tax. The city awarded the design contract to Parsons Transportation Group Inc. The firm will design two general traffic lanes and two exclusive bus lanes on the 1.2-mile stretch.The 57-page professional service agreement stipulates the completion of the design work in the contract no later than Dec. 1. The agreement also details the labor costs associated with the design work, which totals $376,449.88 for in-house staff at Parsons. Hourly rates for employees range from $15.45 to $221.12. The highest estimated cost per employee is Colorado Department of Transportation consultant Ralph Trapani, who will be the project manager, who will earn $89,312.765 for his work.Mileage, daily per diems and lodging for Parsons staff equate to $3,500. Outside costs include overnight and courier delivery at $500, outside reproduction at $1,000 and per diem meals, mileage and miscellaneous costs total $7,000. Outside services from Yeh and Associates, Otak, Clanton, and PBS&J will cost $116,988.89. The entire design contract comes in at $499,988.89.The bus lanes are expected to open in late 2008 or early 2009, according to city staff. The estimated cost of the entire project is $7.4 million, which will come from the half-cent transportation tax.The City Council also approved nearly $4.5 million for a property and for the reconstruction of a water line on Red Mountain.The largest expenditure was the purchase of 517 Park Circle for $4.1 million. The City Council discussed the property acquisition behind closed doors last month. Public uses for the land could include affordable housing or recreational opportunities, according to city staff.The city owns the water line underneath Red Mountain, and since the county plans to reconstruct the road this year, Aspen officials believe replacing portions of the water line during the same time is a wise move as far as cost savings.The county will do the work, and the city will reimburse it $314,716.After being sworn in, the new City Council approved a $60,100 contract to expand the Rio Grande Recycle Center and skatepark.A proposal from WRC Engineering Inc. calls for paving the site and building ramps in the recycling area, which will help alleviate weather issues. City staff suggests that improvements will make it easier to remove snow. The redevelopment also incorporates space for an additional recycling bin for grass and leaves, according to city staff.There are eight public meetings scheduled during the design process of the center and skatepark.Carolyn Sackariason’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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