Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Clearlake's federal stimulus street project set to begin Sept. 22

CLEARLAKE – A city road improvement project funded by stimulus bill funds will begin next week.


The city of Clearlake’s contractor, Fedco Construction, will start construction work on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Collector Street Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, Sept. 22, officials reported this week.


Burns Valley Road between Rumsey Road and Woodland Drive, Division Avenue between Lakeshore Drive and Pine Street and Austin Drive between Pine Street and Old Highway 53 will be under reconstruction from Sept. 22 through Oct. 15, the city reported.


Work will start first on Burns Valley Road and continue to Austin Drive. The road project will involve the excavation and removal – or grinding – of the existing asphalt surfacing, the old road base, placement of new asphalt pavement and minor underground utility repair.


Officials reported the new asphalt pavement will be placed in two lifts, a base course, and finished course.


Electronic message boards will advise motorists of the work schedule and road closures, and there may be delays. Work hours will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The city reported that portions of Burns Valley Road and Austin Avenue will be subject to closure, but access to local residents will be made available at all times during construction.


Because the schedule is weather dependent, cooler or rainy weather could delay the work schedule.


City Administrator Dale Neiman said the base bid for the work awarded to Fedco was for $647,536. About two-thirds of a mile will be paved.


In all, the city has approximately $1,628,717 in funds set aside for this and other projects, with $813,600 coming from federal stimulus funds and $815,000 of local funds from a combination of sources, Neiman said.


In an effort to have road work ready for funding, Neiman said the city began design on the project last summer.


Thanks to the work of City Engineer Bob Galusha, Clearlake was the first agency in Caltrans' District 1 to receive permission to bid and award a project for stimulus funds.


“Our design was done and we were expecting to get authorization to bid in April,” said Neiman.


When the state received the stimulus funds from the federal government earlier this year, it released funds directly to agencies in larger urban areas but in smaller areas like Lake County the funds were divided up by the area planning council.


Dealing with state and federal rules made things “a lot more complicated and time consuming,” Neiman said.


After getting Caltrans District 1's approval on the project, they had to get approval from Caltrans' Sacramento office, then from federal highway officials both in Washington and California, a process that took about two months, Neiman said.


Clearlake's road project finally went to bid in June and the city opened bids in July. However, all of them had problems and were rejected, so Neiman said they went out to bid again in August. The next round of bids included Fedco's.


At the council's next meeting they'll consider several additional road work projects on Modoc, Arrowhead and Pomo, Neiman said. The staff will recommend approving the road improvement project on Pomo, from the school down to Lakeshore Drive. The lowest bid on that is $118,000.


That will use up the federal funds and, with it, exhaust the federal rules that the city has to follow. Neiman said the city will be left with about $800,000 and will go out to bid next January on three other road projects.


Based on past experience, January is the best time of year to get bids, said Neiman, because contractors are lining up work for the spring.


With the state planning to withhold five months' worth of the city's gas tax revenue – which they're supposed to pay back eventually – Neiman said, “We're not in real good financial shape by any means.”


He said the city may need to use some of that leftover $800,000 to fund the Public Works Department – which normally is supported by the gas tax funds – before it bids out its other projects early next year.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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