Renovation of Crozet Avenue Through Downtown Expected to Start in December

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The heart of Crozet will have a very different appearance when the streetscape project is complete.
The heart of Crozet will have a very different appearance when the streetscape project is complete.

Linco, Inc., a Lyndhurst–based construction company, is the apparent low bidder for the “streetscape” project that will add storm drains, curbs, wide sidewalks and buried utility lines on Crozet Avenue between Tabor Street and The Square.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently reviewing bid documents submitted by the firm, according to Albemarle County transportation engineer Jack Kelsey. Because state and federal dollars are being used, VDOT must review the bid and authorize the contract to be awarded before the county can proceed. Bids were opened Oct. 16.

Kelsey said the county has had contracts with Linco before and he expects VDOT’s authorization will be granted by mid-November. That would allow the county to award the contract by mid-December.

Kelsey declined to say what Linco’s bid was. The county had budgeted about $1.5 million for the job, he said, and according to purchasing rules, a bid must be within 10 percent of the engineering estimate to be considered a valid bid.

Linco is currently doing a streetscape project in Harrisonburg. It did the extension of the Charlottesville Downtown Mall and has done several large jobs for U.Va.

The bid documents required bidding companies to draw up a sequencing plan, Kelsey said. He expects that the east side of the street will be worked on first, in three sections with each fully completed before the next is begun, because that side is where most of the widening will occur and starting there allows the contractor a better traffic management option. Kelsey said the contract allows 270 consecutive days, or about 9 months, for the work to be completed. Kelsey said he expects to be far enough along by the time of the July Fourth parade, for which the crowd prefers to stand on the west side to be out of the sun, so that the construction will not interfere with the parade.

Kelsey said county officials intend to arrange a meeting where Crozet businesses and residents can get details from company representatives on how the work will proceed. A date has not been set yet.

CenturyLink workers have been set up over a manhole in the Rt. 240 intersection in front of Dairy Queen for the last several days, completing splices on fiber optic and copper cables so that utility lines can be pulled down from poles along the avenue. Kelsey said he expects wires to be removed in the next two weeks.

The project when first announced was scheduled to be complete in 2008.

The bids for the Crozet Elementary School sidewalk project connecting the school to Laurel Hills subdivision were opened October 29, Kelsey said, and came in “substantially higher” than the estimated construction cost.

Because of the stipulations in the Safe Routes to School grant funding, the project must be advertised and bid on again. Meanwhile the county will try to figure out why bids were higher than estimates. A reduction in the scope of the project may be necessary, Kelsey said.

At a meeting of the Crozet Elementary School PTO on November 6, Kelsey told parents that the sidewalk project is scheduled to go to bid again in January 2014, and should be completed during the current school year. The project has been delayed over three years since the grant was first awarded.

A separate sidewalk project, replacing and improving the sidewalk and small bridge between St. George Avenue to the school, is slated to go to bid in early summer. Kelsey said he hopes to have that project complete by the start of 2014-15 school year.

 

Crozet Streetscape Plan
Crozet Streetscape Plan