A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On Albany’s riverfront, there’s a delay

Written April 8th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

This segment of Water Avenue, including the parking lot between the bridges, was supposed to be rebuilt in Phase 1 of the riverfront project.

So what’s happening on Albany’s much anticipated riverfront redevelopment project this year? Nothing, that’s what. And the city puts part of the blame for the delay on Putin’s war against Ukraine.

Albany had asked for bids on Phase 1 of the project, which called for rebuilding about 1,000 feet of Water Avenue, renovating a parking lot and replacing a water line. Four contractors responded with bids from $2.4 million to $2.7 million.

Now the city staff is recommending that the council, acting as the Albany Revitalization Agency in charge the CARA urban renewal program, reject all four bids.

The council/ARA is scheduled to meet Wednesday, April 13.

A memo included with the agenda says: “Staff’s recommendation to reject bids is based on the lengthening lead times and price volatility due to many factors including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.” [“Conflict” seems like an odd word for what Russia is doing to its neighbor.]

Apparently both countries are major suppliers of the pig iron used in the manufacture of the “ductile iron pipe” and fittings needed for the water line.  So now it takes 20 weeks or longer to get that kind of pipe, and the price isn’t guaranteed until the goods are shipped.

The staff is recommending that Phase 1 of the project be combined with Phase 2, intended to be done next year or later, and that the construction be managed “using the alternate construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) project delivery approach.”

Overall, what the city calls the “Waterfront Project” includes changes to Water Avenue, Monteith Riverpark, and to a lesser extent the Dave Clark Rivefront Path. CARA’s budget for the whole thing is $15 million.

Residents and visitors may see these changes if they live long enough. But it won’t be this year. (hh)

This is where Montgomery Street meets Water Avenue, one of the intersections to be improved.

6 responses to “On Albany’s riverfront, there’s a delay”

  1. MarK says:

    It’s Albany! NOTHING happens in a reasonable time!

    • centrist says:

      2+ years of COVID and now Putin’s dream have fragged the supply chain,
      There was a time when it was common to bring in a project ontime, on budget, fully functional on first pass. The business model of the 80s shifted manufacturing offshore. In 00s, some places had penalties for onsite repair parts.
      Today, if you need a widget like a control valve, there’s likely not a single one available. They’re made to order, then shipped.

      • Rich Kellum says:

        while everything government does is not slow there are abounding examples of said slowness. Bridge on 2nd Ave? years it took to replace 2 culverts on Belmont?

  2. James Engel says:

    I still don’t see why this project is an absolute necessity! The water front has been the water front for the last some thousand years. Why try to improve on it other than to fritter taxpayers money away??

    • Bob Woods says:

      Because it’s about improvement. Making something better than it was before, which helps spur adjacent property owners improve their properties.

      Perpetuating “declining areas” helps no one and makes the adjacent properties worse. You are old enough to remember the urban decay of the 60’s through 90’s. Nobody really wants that for their home town.

  3. CHEZZ says:

    Perhaps they can regroup and decide to get the other riverfront amenities done – the park and path. Get creative!


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