By MARY MALONE
SANDPOINT — After extensive planning and design for Cedar Street over the past few months, the first phase of the downtown revitalization project has been put on hold.
Improvements on Cedar, between Fifth and Second avenues, were scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks. But after receiving only one bid for the construction, City Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to reject it.
The bid was approximately 25 percent over the cost estimated by Century West Engineering staff, the company contracted by the city to design the project. Century West recommended the council reject the bid due to available funding for the project.
"There was a lot of work this year in road repairs from winter damage, and I think that booked up a lot of the contractors and that's why we didn't get a good, competitive bid atmosphere," said Dennis Fuller, project manager with Century West.
City administrator Jennifer Stapleton said the project will go out to bid again early next year, likely in February. She said Century West will have approximately the same work schedule to avoid construction during any major events or holidays. To keep on schedule for completion of all three phases of the downtown revitalization in the next three years, engineers may combine a portion of phase two with phase one next year, and then finish the following year with the rest of phases two and three.
Contractors will be contacted regarding the sewer main replacement on First Avenue, originally scheduled for late August as part of this year's project. That work may still occur in 2017, but would be pushed back to later in the fall, Stapleton said.
The Cedar Street project was scheduled to follow the two-way street revision project, which was originally slated to be complete by the end of April. To stripe the roads, crews need several days of dry weather for it to stick, so it has been put off until the weather decides to cooperate.
During Wednesday's meeting, Stapleton said the revision is now scheduled to begin Monday, starting at with Fifth Avenue and Pine Street.
"That will take place over several weeks, but it will be starting Monday," Stapleton said.
Crews have been preparing for the street conversion by installing a traffic light at Fifth and Church, and installing new traffic signal control cabinets and signal heads at Larch Street at Fifth Avenue and Boyer Avenue at Highway 2. After the switch is flipped, the traffic light at Fifth and Pine will be removed and the new one at Church will be activated.
Stapleton said all of the city streets will be getting new paint soon as well, because the paint is looking "pretty worn" after all the sand needed for the winter's icy conditions. That will begin around May 30, she said.
Mary Malone can be reached by email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.