San Rafael Highway 101 offramp bridge costs increase by $4.3 million; will be rebid

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The cost to replace an aging Highway 101 offramp crossing San Rafael Creek has increased by $4.3 million following issues with construction bidding, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Caltrans plans to re-advertise the construction contract, delaying to 2020 the project that was supposed to begin construction this summer, the Marin Independent Journal has reported.

The California Transportation Authority in late June awarded Caltrans another $4.3 million to advertise and award the contract. This is in addition to the nearly $12.5 million the commission allocated for the project last August.

“The cost of materials and labor are higher in the current construction market, especially for precast concrete, structural concrete and bridge foundation work,” Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said. “Caltrans worked closely with the community and the city on the selection of this construction alternative with the goal of providing a new, seismically safe structure in a heavily traveled area while reducing impacts to the public and businesses.”

The contract will be re-advertised this fall as the original bid winner did not submit proper documents by deadline and failed to meet other requirements, the newspaper quoted Ney as saying

Caltrans would have had to acquire more funding regardless if it had to re-advertise. All of the bids it received for the project earlier this year were higher than engineers’ estimates.

The project will replace the 77-year-old offramp into central San Rafael on northbound Highway 101. There will be seismic upgrades and the bridge deck will be expanded by nearly 2,500 sq. ft. with an additional traffic lane.  Caltrans also plans to reconfigure crosswalks at the intersection of Second and Irwin streets as well as widen road shoulders to improve both pedestrian and driver safety.

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