Baldwin City Council awards contract for U.S. 56/High Street realignment
Four years after the city first took action on the project and a year after it was slated to be completed, the Baldwin City Council on Monday approved a contract for the realignment of the U.S. Highway 56/High Street intersection.
The project with eliminate the current sharp angle at which High Street meets the highway. The plan calls for High Street to curve north to meet U.S. 56 at a 90-degree angle to the west of the current intersection. Left turn lanes will be added on the highway east and west of the new intersection and on High Street south of U.S. 56.
The work will also extend the new roadway north of the highway about 300 feet, at which it will curve to provide access to the business park. The current roadway north of the highway will be abandoned.
Baldwin City Public Works director Bill Winegar said he looked for work to start in July. Construction wouldn’t close U.S. 56, but High Street near the intersection would be closed for some period during construction, he said.
The council on Monday awarded the contract for the project to Killough Construction of Ottawa for $646,000. City Administrator Chris Lowe said that was less than the most recent engineer’s estimate of $803,000 and more than $350,000 less than the highest of the seven bids received. The Kansas Department of Transportation is paying construction cost, but the city would have been on the hook for any cost exceeding the engineer’s estimate.
The city and Douglas County shared the $136,570 cost of property acquisition, utility relocation and the project’s engineering and design, with the city paying 60 percent of those costs and the county 40 percent. All the city and county’s shared cost, except an estimated $80,000 fee to B.G. Consultants for project engineering supervision, have been paid.
The U.S. 56 Corridor Management Group first agreed the project was a needed safety enhancement in 2009, and the city applied for a corridor management grant to pay for work in 2011, Lowe said. KDOT and the city had slotted the project for last year, but it was delayed one year because of contractor scheduling difficulties.
The council also approved the second reading authorizing the city to sell bonds for the purchase of the election power service rights from Kansas City Power & Light for the business park and a four homes along North Sixth Street and the refinancing of existing bonds. It also approved a resolution establishing the technical details of a $2.1 million bond sale conducted earlier in the day for those purposes.
The city’s financial consultant, Tom Kaleko of Springsted Inc., said $655,000 of the new debt was for purchase of the service area. The remaining amount was to refinance debt of Sixth Street improvements south of U.S. Highway 56, which was first refinanced in 2011.
The bonds are general obligation bonds, meaning revenue from property taxes back the bonds, but the service area purchase is to be paid off with money raised from the sale of electrical power to the new customers.
Kaleko said the latest refinancing will save the city $12,000 a year and $129,000 during the remaining repayment schedule.
There were five bids on the bond issue, Kaleko said. An investment group of more than 20 banks led by R.W. Baird Banking won the bid, charging the city 2.45 percent interest on the bonds.
In other business, the council:
- Approved purchase of a new, replacement bucket truck for the electrical distribution department from Altec Inc. of St. Joseph, Mo., for $186,279.
- Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Moose’s Backyard BBQ, a liquor license for El Patron, and retail liquor licenses for Callahan Retail Liquor and JBC Liquors LLC.
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