South Lake Tahoe City Council awards bid for bike path
A critical and costly section of bike trail in South Lake Tahoe is moving forward following City Council’s selection of a construction company Tuesday.
Council agreed to award the bid for the $2.5 million El Dorado Beach to Ski Run Boulevard project to Sierra Nevada Construction, Inc, effectively moving the project, which dates back to 2002, toward the construction phase.
The trail, which Councilman Tom Davis called “long overdue,” includes 4,000 linear feet of class 1 pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect Ski Run Boulevard and El Dorado Beach, which currently represents a missing segment in the city’s growing trail network.
The actual bid for construction is $2.2 million, and the project also includes a $222,401 — or 10 percent — contingency and other costs.
Funding for the trail will come from a mix of sources, including more than $1.8 million from Caltrans, $510,000 from the Federal Highway Administration and $260,410 from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
As City Manager Nancy Kerry noted in a memo to council regarding the project, the $2.2 million bid was well above the engineer’s estimate of $1.65 million.
In attempting to explain the sizable discrepancy in cost and the fact that the city only received two bids for the project, staff reached out to contractors that bid on previous projects. “Unique conditions,” including the “severe” winter weather, impacted interest in the project, according to Kerry’s memo.
While the city could have rejected the bids and rebid the project, the same conditions that originally reduced interest still persist, and there would be no guarantee that rebidding the project would bring a better result. The bid from Sierra was the lower of the two bids submitted.
Federal funds going to the project add additional requirements, Kerry noted.
Once completed, the trail will essentially connect the Stateline area at Pioneer Trail to the city’s bicycle system that connects to Camp Richardson, according to Kerry’s memo.
The segment is part of a growing trail network. The city was recognized for this progress with silver status as a Bicycle Friendly Community, a designation from the League of American Bicyclists, late last year. The designation equates to recognition that the city is moving in the right direction regarding bicycling.