Crestwood board OKs construction contract for new service bridge

By EVAN YOUNG

Ordinances awarding construction and material testing contracts for the new Whitecliff Park Service Bridge were approved recently by the Crestwood Board of Aldermen.

The board voted 6-1 on July 26 to award a contract to R.V. Wagner Inc. not to exceed $434,187.65 to replace the Whitecliff Park Service Bridge over Gravois Creek.

Aldermen also voted 6-1 to award a $22,289.61 contract to SCI Engineering Inc. for material testing, which is required by the Missouri Department of Transportation because the project is partially funded with federal dollars.

Ward 3 Alderman Paul Duchild voted against both measures, and Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel was absent.

R.V. Wagner Inc. was the apparent low bidder out of eight companies that submitted proposals. Bids were opened July 14.

The low bid for construction came in “substantially below” both the $494,679 engineer estimate and the $600,000 budgeted amount, according to Jim Eckrich, acting city administrator/director of public services.

The construction contract allows change orders not to exceed $45,000.

City staff selected SCI Engineering as the most-qualified to perform the testing out of seven companies that responded to a request for qualifications.

Staff negotiated the $22,289.61 material testing service fee with SCI, which performed similar services during the Pardee Road Bridge and Grant Road reconstruction projects “exceptionally well and within budget,” Eckrich wrote in a memo to the board and Mayor Jeff Schlink.

The material testing agreement provides for up to $2,500 in change orders.

The Whitecliff Park Service Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in November 2007 after a MoDOT inspection. The following month, the city’s Department of Public Works received a Federal Highway Administration grant — funded through MoDOT — that will offset 80 percent of the new bridge’s construction costs.

With the grant, the city will be responsible for $100,795.45 for construction and material testing — 20 percent of the $503,977.26 for both contracts.

Aldermen in September 2009 awarded a $108,850 contract to CDG Engineers for project design, 80 percent of which also was reimbursed through the grant.

Duchild, who has contended the proposed bridge is not the most cost-effective option for the city, stressed last week his opposition was not a reflection on the contractors.

“It’s solely based on using a common-sense approach and using our tax dollars wisely and making good decisions, which I do not agree with this decision,” Duchild said. “I believe a pedestrian bridge is the best fit for this project, but for various reasons that was not chosen up front going into the project.”

Duchild voted against the CDG contract in 2009 along with Schlink, who at the time was a Ward 2 alderman.

In other business July 26, the board:

• Voted 7-0 to approve a Surface Transportation Program agreement with the Missouri Highways and Traffic Commission to accept a grant for the second phase of the Spellman Avenue reconstruction project.

Crestwood received a federal grant to cover 80 percent of the cost for the first phase of the project, which includes the reconstruction of Spellman Avenue from Rayburn Avenue to Ponderosa Drive.

That project currently is under design and is scheduled for construction in 2013, Eckrich stated.

The new grant will cover 80 percent of costs in the second phase — reconstruction of Ponderosa Drive, Acorn Drive, Oak Ridge Avenue and Holmes Avenue.

Reconstruction will include new curbs and gutters, a new riding surface, new sidewalk on one side of the street and stormwater improvements, Eckrich stated.

While the estimated phase-two cost is $1,386,000, the city will be responsible for only $277,200.

“The completion of both phases of this project will result in a brand new roadway from Rayburn Avenue to Big Bend Boulevard, which serves as a collector for a number of streets within the northwest quadrant of the city,” Eckrich stated. “The project will also improve pedestrian access to Spellman Park.”

• Voted 7-0 to grant a request for a conditional-use permit by Grabber School of Hair Design to operate a cosmetology school at 9833 Watson Road, the former Lindburg Cadillac property.

• Voted 7-0 to approve Schlink’s aldermanic appointments to city advisory boards, including:

– Ward 1 Alderman Darryl Wallach to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Sign Commission and Ways and Means Committee.

– Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan to the Economic Development Commission.

– Pickel to the Park Board.

– Ward 2 Alderman Steve Knarr to the Business License Review Board and Fire Board.

– Duchild to the Ways and Means Committee.

– Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel to the Police Board.

– Ward 4 Alderman Deborah Beezley to the Animal Control Board.

– Ward 4 Alderman John Foote to the Disabled CItizens Advisory Committee and Veterans Memorial Committee.