Twin Peaks bid award delayed - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Twin Peaks bid award delayed

ADOT, PAG pacts differ about when to pay contractor

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Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:30 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Awarding of a bid for the Twin Peaks Interchange project has been delayed due to a discrepancy between two legal agreements about when the project’s contractor should receive payment.

The award, which was set to take place Friday, March 13, at an Arizona Department of Transportation Board meeting in Phoenix, is now scheduled for next month, according to a Web site dedicated to the project.

The Twin Peaks project aims to provide an easier way for residents to get from Interstate 10 to Dove Mountain. It aims to unite the growing Dove Mountain community with Continental Ranch, and provide easier access to Interstate 10. It would connect to upcoming widening and roadway improvements of Camino de Mañana, realigning the roadway north to the intersection of Tangerine Road and Dove Mountain Boulevard.

In a March 13 letter to Gary Hayes, the executive director of the Pima Association of Governments / Regional Transportation Authority, Town Manager Gilbert Davidson wrote that ADOT had to delay the contract award because the RTA didn’t deposit $15 million into an account with the State Treasurer’s office before the time to award the contract.

A policy requires the state to pay a contractor within 14 days of receiving an invoice, which means it needs cash in hand before a bid can be awarded.

The RTA — the biggest financial contributor to the project — is set up to reimburse project costs rather than pay them upfront. Paying upfront gets in the way of transparency to the public, said DeGrood, RTA’s transportation services director.

“Our hope is that we still are able to see this project awarded,” DeGrood said. “We’re working hard to find a solution to this that is transparent to the public and gives our board the comfort base that it needs that this is being handled appropriately.”

Funding for the Twin Peaks project comes from the RTA, ADOT and town and federal sources.

The RTA has approved 261 projects to date, all of which have followed the reimbursement policy, DeGrood said.

“We had talked about the possibility of doing this upfront deposit, and at the time — this goes back to January of last year — we didn’t feel we could do that,” he said.

The lowest bidder for the Twin Peaks project is Phoenix-based Pulice, which proposed doing the project for an estimated $50.4 million — $15.4 million lower than Marana town officials had expected.

Pulice, a 53-year-old company, has created infrastructure for more than 1,000 subdivisions. Project highlights include Castle Hot Springs, Park Access Road, and Sun Valley Parkway.

Current projects include a $195 million contract with ADOT to construct 4.83 miles of urban divided freeway with three traffic interchanges.

RTA has written a response to Davidson’s letter, DeGrood said. RTA officials were set to talk with Marana officials Wednesday to discuss the next steps.

PROJECT FUNDING

Funding for the future Twin Peaks Interchange project comes from federal, state and local sources.

• Regional Transportation Authority: $35.72 million

• Arizona Department of Transportation: $14 million

• Town of Marana impact fees: $14 million

• Marana, $1 million of water line

• Federal government: $10-$11 million Any funding over already designated amounts would come from regional federal funds, according to Jim DeGrood, the transportation services director for the Pima Association of Governments. Any savings would be put to use on other regional programs.

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