Sidewalks to Crozet Elementary Delayed. Again

Remember the now-seemingly-mythical sidewalks to Crozet Elementary? Announced in May 2010, news was silent about the sidewalk grant for years. We’ve discussed for years the need for sidewalks to Crozet Elementary.

Looks like we’ll be waiting for sidewalks for longer than expected. Even last month it seemed that the funds were in place.

via email last night from Jack Kelsey with Albemarle County (thanks, Jack for keeping us informed):

The bids for the Crozet Elementary School “Safe Routes to School” sidewalk project (Crozet ES to Ballard Dr.) were received and opened on Oct 29th. I will be providing a brief status update to you and the PTO Wednesday night, but I wanted to give you a heads-up that the bids came in substantially higher than the estimated construction cost and the project budget.   

Based on the stipulations that came with the SRTS Grant funds, the project must be re-advertised/re-bid. Prior to re-advertising we must try to determine the reasons for the higher bids – for example: error in estimating; lack of clarity in the plans & specifications; season or time period for construction; market conditions or amount of work already lined-up by bidders. We will address the reasons in the plans & specifications, reduce the scope of the improvements as necessary to stay within the budget, and then re-advertise the project. We will work to resolve this matter and re-advertise as soon as possible, but I wanted to give you advance notice that there will be additional delay.

When I asked how much higher the bids were, Jack responded –

As for how much higher were the bids, all I can say at this time is that they were greater than 10% of the construction cost estimate.

I asked Jack if we were at risk of losing the funding. He replied:

We need to rebid the project so at this time I cannot share the difference between our estimate and the bids received. We are not at risk of losing the grant funding. Also want to make certain you understand that the SRTS project (Crozet ES to Ballard Dr) had to be advertised/constructed as a separate project from what is described below (ed note: referencing the funding noted here ). This is because the SRTS is Federal funding and there are specific Federal design, bidding and construction requirements to which we must adhere that do not apply to the State (Revenue Sharing) fund portion of the Crozet North Sidewalk project that runs from St George Ave. to the Crozet Elementary School.

Notes:

– The above is posted with permission.

– Anyone on Crozet PTO want to write a story/update for RealCrozetVA after the PTO meeting?

– I’m wondering if those bids can be public. I’d think they could/should be so we can see the scope of work and where the discrepancies/overruns are.

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One Reply to “Sidewalks to Crozet Elementary Delayed. Again”

  1. Jack did attend our meeting on Wednesday and update the Crozet PTO. We wanted to make Jack aware how disappointed we are that this project is so far behind schedule and now nearly 3.5 yrs following the award of the money we still have nothing. We are upset because this was a school project and we still have NO connecting sidewalks to Crozet Elementary and NO crosswalk across a busy street connecting TWO schools. This is extremely disheartening for the kids and parents who worked on this Walk to School Grant and have since graduated from Crozet. Realistically it’s doubtful we will have much completed before the end of the school year – this is unacceptable we’ve been patient but enough is enough. I think it comes down to they put this off for a long time and when they finally did get around to designing it was far more complex than anyone thought. Read the Daily Progress articles – when it was announced in spring of 2010 they thought it would go to construction in the fall of 2010 and now we will be lucky if it’s completed in 2014 for 600 ft of sidewalk and a crosswalk !

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