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Project estimated to enter construction phase in spring 2022, 10 years after approved for STIP funds

Most have heard of the children's story "Where the Sidewalk Ends." Well Sandy City Council has been working on a project to create a pathway from Vista Loop Road to Ten Eyck Road for 10 years wondering "when will the sidewalk begin?"

The Vista Loop to Ten Eyck Sidewalk project was developed by the city in 2012, and the city received $1.9 million in funds from ODOT's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program to complete the project within the 2016-18 cycle.

Though that cycle has come to a close, the $1.9 million from ODOT is still the city's for the taking, but the total cost of the project has increased multiple times since that allotment was set.

In 2017, the cost was $2.8 million with the city responsible for around $900,000 of the expense.

According to a report from Public Works Director Mike Walker on Nov. 1, bids on the project were finally opened on Oct. 14, and ODOT's estimated cost was $2,143,778. The lowest responsive bidder was Nutter Corporation of Vancouver, Wash., which offered a bid of $2,543,814. Four bids were received ranging between $2,543,814 and $2,999,465.

"The gap between the low bid and the available funding for construction, engineering, and management is approximately $548,000," Walker reported. "Since the lowest bid came in at 118.6% of the engineer's estimate, ODOT must consult with the city before awarding a contract. The city is responsible for the $548,000 gap if the project is to proceed."

Walker suggested the city pull the needed funds from the city budget, committing $116,000 from the Street Fund Capital budget and $224,000 from the Street Fund Operations budget to make up the funding gap. He also suggested that costs could be cut by $210,000 if installation of lighting conduit and junction boxes were postponed on the project, which is how the $340,000 additional cost was determined.

"The Council has indicated that this is a priority project," Walker explained. "The city has committed approximately $905,000 to the project since 2016. Of this amount, $219,700 has been spent. If the project goes to construction the remainder, $685,300, would be spent. It's still a pretty good deal for the city, even though it's kind of disappointing that the cost has escalated every time it comes to council."

While Council approved the additional funding unanimously, Council President Jeremy Pietzold, who has served the city for most of the time this project has been in the works, expressed his frustration that any actual work on the sidewalk has yet to begin after nearly nine years.

"My favorite complaint is: What is taking so stinking long?" posed Pietzold. "The money's been there … when can they start building? Can they start building next month? … What else does ODOT need to do before they start pouring concrete?"

The current estimated timeline has work on this project starting in spring of 2022 and completing in October 2022.

Councilor Don Hokanson said he was "not comfortable" with eliminating the lighting infrastructure, though council eventually decided that since the $210,000 needed for this portion would come from funds for the 362nd to Bell Street Expansion Project, they would drop the conduit and junction boxes for now.


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