Underground surprise will cost Paepcke Transit Hub another $300K | AspenTimes.com

Underground surprise will cost Paepcke Transit Hub another $300K

Stormwater pipe and other underground issues increasing budget for $4.8 million bus stop, pedestrian crossings

Signs block the sidewalk near Main Street and Aspen Street on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The cost for the Paepcke Transit Hub project on Aspen’s Main Street keeps getting more expensive, and this time around it’s because of an underground surprise.

When crews this past spring began to dig up the intersection at Garmisch and Main streets to build a new bus shelter and pedestrian crossing, they discovered a displaced section of stormwater pipe.

For proper drainage, it requires an additional 57 linear feet and nearly $230,695 in a change order to Gould Construction’s contract with the city, which Aspen City Council approved on Tuesday.

It’s the second change order to the contract, with the first one being $238,840.

The additional work brings the project to $4.8 million, although the cost to the city is $4 million with grants, other government contributions and development fee revenue making up the difference.

The original budget for the second-busiest stop in town at one time was $1.9 million but then it increased to $4.4 million due to supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, inflation and construction material costs rising.

It was supposed to be built last fall, but no contractors bid on the project in June 2021.

The city went out for bid again in September and received only one bid, and that was Gould Construction for double the original price.

Council agreed to move forward so it wouldn’t lose $800,000 in Colorado Department of Transportation grants, which would’ve expired next year.

There’s also a sense of urgency because previous conditions at the intersection were unsafe for pedestrians and the bus stop infrastructure is subpar, according to officials.

Bikers cross Main Street at the corner of Aspen Street on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Aspen.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The major improvements at the outbound bus stop across from Paepcke Park on Main Street are planned to create a safer, more comfortable location.

It will include a bus shelter that could fit as many as 30 people, as well as real-time transit signage and other amenities.

The additional stormwater piping will help the drainage near the outbound bus stop where significant amounts of water pool, so people have to walk through water and ice, according to Mike Horvath, the city’s project manager.

The majority of the project is scheduled to be completed in September, with the bus shelter ready in November.



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