The Sun Valley City Council has hired a contractor for the second year of its road-and-path rehabilitation and improvement program.

In November 2017, Sun Valley voters approved a $17.5 million bond measure to support a slew of road and path projects throughout the town.

On April 4, the City Council voted unanimously to approve a $5,884,127 bid from Idaho Materials Construction to handle 19 projects throughout the city, which will commence this summer. Including a 10 percent contingency, the budget will be $6,472,000.

Idaho Materials Construction was the only bidder on the projects.

The projects are broken out into four groups:

  • Group A will include work on Juniper Road, Thistle Street, Lupine Street and Mayleaf Street;

  • Group B will include work on Fireweed Drive, Syringa Road, Parker Gulch Road, Keystone Street, Independence Creek Road and Defiance Street;

  • Group C will including Elkhorn road and pathway segment D, Blue Grouse Road, Horseshoe Road, Elkhorn Road segment C and Village Way;

  • Group D will include Prospector Road, Hard Rock Lane, Proctor Mountain Road and Wedeln Lane.

Idaho Materials Construction will hire subcontractors to handle general excavation, the rehabilitation work, concrete curb and gutter, traffic control, striping, fencing and guardrail, according to a city staff report.

Most of the streets will receive a treatment called CRABS, which stands for “cement recycled asphalt base stabilization.”

City Engineer Betsy Roberts told the council that the new contract has been expanded from last year’s, which was awarded to Valley Paving. Last fall, Hendricks and Roberts acknowledged that the city encountered problems with pacing, scheduling and ensuring a high standard of finished work. This year’s contract adds more emphasis on quality management for the contractor as well as for the city, Roberts said.

She said scheduling the work has been tightened down, so Idaho Materials Construction and its subcontractors do not start work on a project, leave it and come back to it later.

“We will have a process in place,” Roberts said. “We really locked them in.”

While Idaho Materials Construction was the sole bidder, the firm came within 1 percent of the city’s budget estimate.

“We hear what you’ve been talking about,” Roberts told the council. “These guys are going to be on it this year.”

The council also voted unanimously to approve a $440,000 contract with Roberts’ firm, Jacobs, to manage the projects this year. Jacobs’ contract is 7.5 percent of the overall construction contract for Idaho Materials Construction; last year it was 6 percent.

Weed management

The council voted unanimously to approve an agreement with A.K. Pest Management to use hand-pulling—and not spraying the herbicide Milestone—for the city’s weed abatement program this year.

The program covers weed abatement on about 30 acres of rights of way throughout the town, according to a city staff report. Street Superintendent Bill Whitesell wrote in a memo to the City Council that he contacted the Environmental Resource Center, the Wood River Land Trust, A.K. Pest Management and Bio-Control on alternatives to chemical spraying.

The agreement with A.K. Pest Management pays the firm $6,600 per application to hand-pull weeds on the city’s rights of way. Whitesell told the council they would do this as many as three times during the weed-abatement season, for a not-to-exceed amount of $19,800.

The application of Milestone would cost $3,875 each, for a not-to-exceed amount of $11,625.

Councilman Brad DuFur said he supported the hand-pulling to see if it would be effective in weed abatement.

“We’re going to know at the end of the season how it worked,” DuFur said.

Councilman Keith Saks agreed.

“It’s certainly worth a try,” Saks said. “We’ll see how it works out.”

Hendricks said the project would be worthwhile to do while crafting a long-term strategy related to weed abatement.

“This is not going to change the course of the universe,” Hendricks said. “We look forward to your continued assistance, looking for the long-term solution.”

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