At Monday, July 25th’s Admin/Finance meeting, City Manager Joan Riley updated the committee on the status of the traffic light at Highway 117 and 49th W. Ave. The traffic light is a part of the 2020 GO Bond project and well-regarded as a necessity to deter the number of traffic accidents at that intersection.
Riley said that few weeks ago, she was ready to go out for bid on both the 49th W. Ave project and the Hwy 117 extension to Ozark Trail.
Ozark Trail went out for bid, but 49th did not. “So I had a conversation with Guy Engineering, who told me that they had not received word that we had purchased all of the right-of-ways,” she said. Therefore, Guy Engineering still had some utility work to have done. To make matters worse, at that point Guy had also lost a couple of people who were involved in the project “It’s become such a common thing,” Riley said. “It’s happening everywhere we turn.”
So Riley decided to get a few others involved and “get to the bottom of it.” Now, she says they’re having updates every two weeks.
“This is one of the reasons that solidified for me why I needed to hire a project manager for the city,” she said.
Utility relocation is a big part of what’s holding the project up. Initially, Riley and City Attorney David Widdoes said that they were told the utilities wouldn’t need to be relocated. “We were told they were clear,” Widdoes said.
“Now, based on the most recent information, Creek (County Rural Water District) 2 has come up with a relocation plan, Cox has already agreed to move … AT&T hasn’t responded, so we’re just going to clear it all away.”
The project manager has been hired and “has already proven to be beneficial,” Riley says. “He jumped in and started asking questions.”
Realistically, Riley says that it’ll be “fall or winter” to bid the project out. They expect it to be a six-month project, to be completed in late spring or summer of 2023.