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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

NA Road: Commuting fun looms

Written April 7th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
A construction yard is set up alongside North Albany Road.

A construction yard is set up alongside North Albany Road.

The equipment is assembled, so this means that for thousands of North Albany commuters, a long season of construction delays and detours is about to start.

The first phase of the North Albany Road reconstruction was supposed to start Monday, but I encountered no actual work other than surveying, and no delays, on that road Tuesday. On Spring Hill Drive, though, construction is under way on a roundabout at Quarry Road. City officials hope the traffic circle will ease traffic when the intersection will have to handle much of the North Albany Road detour traffic starting about June 12. That’s when North Albany Road will be closed completely between Quarry and the railroad tracks. It won’t reopen until just before Labor Day.

Roundabout (Albany's fourth) under construction and Quarry  and Spring Hill.

Roundabout (Albany’s fourth) under construction at Quarry and Spring Hill.

At a meeting Monday, City Engineer Jeff Blaine (now also the public works director for engineering) reminded the city council that the North Albany Road project will affect traffic all summer. The council wanted to know if the Quarry-Spring Hill roundabout will remain temporary, as now planned, or become permanent. Benton County apparently wants it to be torn out once it’s no longer needed, the council was told.

Emery & Sons Construction Co. of Salem has the $6,559,593 contract for the entire road project, which also includes completion of a water line to a reservoir on Gibson Hill. Its bid was almost half a million dollars higher than the low bid by K&E Excavating, also of Salem, but the low bidder was disqualified because the city had specified that bidders have a certain pipeline expert on staff and K&E proposed to hire one for this project instead.

The first phase, starting now, covers NA Road between Gibson Hill and Quarry and includes utility, street and sidewalk work. During the second phase, starting in June, the road between Quarry and the tracks will be raised and widened so it has a left-turn median, and the bridge between East and West Thornton Lakes will be replaced. West Thornton Lake Drive will be realigned to face the signal at the middle school driveway.

If there was an easy and safe way to make a left on Highway 20 from Scenic Drive, commuters might want to go that way. But there isn’t. So, all you residents along Spring Hill, get used to more traffic all summer long. (hh)

The city has invited people to contact Public Works Engineering with any questions and comments at 541-917-7676. Other current information sources online:
www.cityofalbany.net/northalbanyroad
twitter:  @northalbanyroad
email:  NorthAlbanyRoad@cityofalbany.net
facebook.com/groups/northalbanyroad



2 responses to “NA Road: Commuting fun looms”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    ” Its bid was almost half a million dollars higher than the low bid by K&E Excavating, also of Salem, but the low bidder was disqualified because the city had specified that bidders have a certain pipeline expert on staff and K&E proposed to hire one for this project instead.”

    Who IS this “certain pipeline expert”.
    Why isn’t another “pipeline expert” allowed?

    • This was the explanation from the city staff to the city council on March 11:
      “The low bid of $6,099,400.20 submitted by K&E Excavating, Inc., of Salem, Oregon, is
      considered non-responsive; therefore, the City cannot award the contract to this bidder. Bidders
      were required to provide documentation of experience with constructing HDPE Pipe. The
      experience requirement was three-tiered requiring experience from a Contractor, a
      Superintendent, and a Pipe Fusion Technician. K&E Excavating’s bid proposal did not meet this
      requirement and, therefore, their proposal is incomplete and considered non-responsive.
      K&E Excavating’s proposal was based on substituting a hired (temporary) superintendent’s
      experience to meet the contractor experience requirement. Using this method to meet the contract
      experience requirement provides an unfair competitive advantage to K&E Excavating over other
      potential bidders.”

 

 
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