Citing a particularly favorable bid environment, the Hays City Commission on Thursday spoke in favor of moving not just one, but two road reconstruction projects ahead one year in the city’s capital improvement plan.
City staff had recommended proceeding with reconstruction of West 43rd Street from Vine to the street’s current ending point near Walmart SuperCenter. The project was slated for completion in 2019, but moving it forward also could coincide with a privately funded project to extend infrastructure for a possible Hilton Garden Inn hotel and convention center.
Commissioners at Thursday’s work session spoke in favor of also moving reconstruction of West 45th Street forward, noting street project bids have been coming in below projections.
“Why aren’t we doing 45th Street?” Vice Mayor Henry Schwaller IV asked. “A, we have the money. B, you know the cost would be favorable, and it’s in very bad condition.”
The city had received a proposal from Driggs Design Group in the amount of nearly $35,000 for the 43rd Street project only, with actual construction costs estimated at $850,000. Staff will ask the engineering firm to revise its proposal to include an alternate bid for 45th Street also, City Manager Toby Dougherty said. That information is expected to be presented next Thursday.
Driggs Design Group was selected because the firm is responsible for extending 43rd Street as part of the private hotel development.
Both 43rd and 45th street reconstruction was slated for completion in 2019, with an estimated combined price tag of $1.2 million. City project manager John Braun acknowledged the cost estimates likely were too low, as the updated 43rd Street projection accounts for most of that amount.
The city has paid cash for two large road projects recently — completed reconstruction of Eighth Street and Allen Street, which will begin later this year. The reserve fund has enough money to pay cash for the 43rd Street project, and likely 45th Street as well.
West 43rd Street was constructed in 2000 as part of a private development, and the street is failing, Braun said.
“The pavement is failing. It has been patched several times since it was built. It’s reached the point where full reconstruction has become necessary,” he said.
“The timing and bidding environment are right to reconstruct 43rd Street sooner rather than later.”
The 43rd Street proposal calls for reconstructing the pavement and improving the road base. Existing curb and gutter and business entries would remain intact, though new sidewalk would be added on the north side of the street.
If approved at next week’s regular meeting, construction bids would be opened in June and the project would be complete by year’s end.
In other business, a public hearing regarding a requested TIF incentive for the proposed Hilton Garden Inn and conference center in the newly annexed Ottley addition will be on next week’s agenda.