May 2, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 2

Safety work for Cheney-Spokane

Travel on Cheney-Spokane Road will be a bit more difficult this summer during weekdays. Besides the $11 million construction of a new diamond-interchange taking place at the intersection with U.S. 195, work will also be done making safety improvements along the entire length of Cheney-Spokane Road.

Spokane County Commissioners awarded a contract at their April 16 to Murphy Brothers for the Cheney-Spokane Road Safety Project. The project scope includes “numerous short and spot locations” where existing guardrail will be replaced or modified, new guardrail installed along with signing improvements and other safety enhancements.

Murphy Brothers’ low bid of $158,318 came in at 33 percent above the engineer’s estimate of $119,202, and above the typical safety margin of 10 percent or $131,122.20. County engineer Bob Brueggeman said he researched the justification for the price difference, and was satisfied enough with the contractor’s explanation that he recommended its acceptance.

“The cost difference consisted of two items that were estimated low and the contractor demonstrated the bid price was in keeping with the amount of work required,” Brueggeman said.

One item was traffic control, with Murphy Brothers showing the need for two flaggers for the project’s duration rather than placement of signs and barricades as estimated, adding $20,000. The other item, Brueggeman said, “required specialty equipment to place and compact imported material on the back side of existing guardrail.” That added over $21,000.

There were other smaller dollar amount areas where the bid exceeded the estimate, but there were also areas, mainly with signs and guardrails, where the county was able to see close to $10,00 savings in actual prices versus estimates.

A pre-construction meeting is being held May 8, at which time Murphy Brothers will give a project time schedule to the county.

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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