Construction on 29 Road to begin soon

The City Council doled out more than $3 million in contracts Monday night to two local contractors to launch a project that will ultimately complete a 29 Road link from Orchard Mesa to north Grand Junction and create an interchange at the Interstate 70 Business Loop.

The city and Mesa County will pay United Companies nearly $1.82 million and Sorter Construction nearly $1.35 million to complete two phases of the three-phase project. The bids submitted came in about $750,000 less than estimates from city engineers.

United Companies will work on the south side of I-70B, widening 29 Road to five lanes Road and building a realigned D 1/2 Road. Sorter will work on the north side, building sections of Teller Avenue, Melody Lane, Sparn Street and Gunnison Avenue.

Construction on the first two phases will begin June 29 and should be completed by the end of November. Traffic will be detoured away from 29 Road north of D and D 1/2 roads east of 29 Road.

City Public Works and Planning Director Tim Moore said officials then hope to begin building the most expensive section — an interchange at I-70B and viaduct over the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Officials originally planned to build the project all at once. But Moore said there’s been a delay on Union Pacific’s authorization to construct the viaduct over the tracks because the railroad company is still determining how much they’ll need to expand the tracks in that area to accommodate future growth. The number of tracks required will determine how long the bridge needs to be.

There could be benefit to delaying the project and dividing it into three phases, however.

The city is applying for $20 million in federal stimulus grant money that would help offset
local costs.

The city and county are splitting the cost of the $32 million project.


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