Mesa County approves $1.36M contract for Molina road

Project intended to improve safety

Mesa County commissioners on Monday awarded a $1.36 million contract to a Grand Junction construction company to rebuild what some consider a dangerous road and intersection near Molina on Grand Mesa.

Roads leading to and away from the three-way intersection of 54.7, KK and KE roads currently feature blind spots, tight turns, warning signs and steep grades. In a project that entails less than a half-mile of roadway, workers will realign and widen the intersection, move 54.7 Road to the north to allow for a more gradual descent and remove several trees to improve sight distance.

Neighbors at one point criticized the project, claiming the county was unnecessarily requiring the purchase of their land and wasting taxpayer money. No one, however, showed up Monday to comment on the contract.

Sorter Construction’s bid came in about $100,000 less than the bid submitted by Palisade Constructors Inc. and nearly $500,000 less than the county engineer’s estimate. The county received a $500,000 energy-impact grant from the state, leaving the county responsible for the remaining $866,000 in costs.

The county also will pay nearly $140,000 to replace an EnCana Oil & Gas gas line across 54.7 Road.

Construction is expected to begin next month and finish in October.

In other business, commissioners accepted a rebate check worth nearly $73,000 from Xcel Energy, giving the county money back for projects aimed at saving energy in county buildings and properties.

The county paid $1.1 million a year ago to upgrade numerous pieces of equipment to reduce operating costs by conserving energy and increasing efficiency. Officials expect to save about $100,000 a year through the improvements.


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