1st change order approved for Jackson Boulevard project

Construction crews continue to work on the Jackson Boulevard project, with medians emerging from Third to Fifth streets. Pioneer photo by Kaija Swisher

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SPEARFISH — Phase 1 of the Jackson Boulevard street and utility improvements project is moving along, with medians taking shape along the section from Third to Main streets currently under construction.

The first change order for phase 1 of the project, an increase of $20,976.58 and a decrease of $14,452.46, for a net increase of $6,524.12, was approved July 1 by the Spearfish City Council.

City Engineer Kyle Mathis explained that the bulk of the increase came from substituting cast iron detectable warning panels instead of plastic composite detectable warning panels for long-term durability. These panels are a distinctive surface pattern of domes used to indicate the boundary between pedestrian and vehicular routes on handicap-accessible sidewalks, where there is a flush instead of a curbed connection. Mathis said that in heavy traffic areas, the plastic panels wear out quickly and have to be changed out more often, so the city would likely look at cast iron as a panel option for future projects.

The change order also included that metal railing was substituted on the sides of an outlet structure where the plans specified chain link fence due to its location in the floodplain. In addition, a water service was added on the north side of Jackson Boulevard at the bike path by Spearfish Creek for landscape irrigation instead of extending the irrigation across Third Street. The changes would be paid for under existing bid items, with quantity changes done in the final over/under change order, Mathis explained.

He added that five additional days have been allotted to the project, moving the substantial completion date for phase 1 to Nov. 13, 2019. Phase 1 includes the portion of Jackson Boulevard from about Third to 10th streets.

The Spearfish City Council in February awarded the lowest responsive and responsible bid for the phase 1 construction to RCS Construction, Inc., of Rapid City, for $3,894,989.13. 

Elements included in phase 1 include the installation of water and sanitary sewer main replacement; new storm sewer trunkline from Spearfish Creek to Eighth Street; conversion of the current four-lane roadway to a five-lane roadway with raised medians and center turn lanes; bike lanes from Third to Fifth streets; a raised median on Main Street from Jackson Boulevard to Kansas Street; landscaping and new street lighting; and a new traffic signal at Canyon Street. 

Project Engineer Adam McMahon said Friday that the project is going well and that the contractor has mostly caught back up to their original schedule after the weather delays from this spring.

“The storm sewer trunkline is complete through Fifth Street,” he said, describing that the storm sewer and the drop inlets at Canyon and Fifth streets are complete. In addition, the water main lowerings at Canyon and Fifth streets are complete; the curb for the islands between Third and Fifth streets are complete; and Third Street is paved and open to traffic. 

The traffic signal bases at Canyon Street have been poured, and conduit for the new street lighting has been bored between Third and Fifth streets, McMahon said. The bike path route under the bridge is complete and has been re-opened, as well, and work on curb, gutter, and sidewalk has been progressing.

McMahon said that motorists seem to have gotten used to the current traffic configuration and seem to be navigating through the project well and the recent weather has not impacted the work any more than could be expected.

“Eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane all the way to Main Street so the contractor can work on curb, gutter, and sidewalk in that area,” McMahon said. “Once the surfacing is caught up, traffic will switch from the westbound lanes to the eastbound lanes and installation of the storm sewer trunkline will continue east towards Main Street on the north side of Jackson Boulevard.”

McMahon added that one of the most common questions he has heard lately has to do with whether the Canyon Street intersection would be open prior to the Festival in the Park, scheduled for July 19-21 at Spearfish City Park, and yes, he said, the current plan is to have Canyon Street paved and open to traffic prior to that weekend.

“Safety is still our biggest concern during construction,” McMahon said. “To date, motorists have done great, and we have not had any major accidents on the project. Sidewalks remain closed on the project, and we ask that pedestrians detour around the project. If you choose to go through the project on foot or by bicycle, be cautious of unmarked hazards such as drop-offs, uneven surfaces, and freshly-poured concrete. Also beware that as a pedestrian, your visibility to construction equipment and motorists is reduced in areas and is also not expected.” 

Additional information about the project can be found at cityofspearfish.com/departments or by calling the Building and Development office at 642-1335.

Phase 2 of the Jackson Boulevard project, currently under design, runs from University to Third streets and 10th Street to Interstate 90 and includes underground utility improvements, converting the current four-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway with raised medians and center turn lanes, a roundabout at the Ames Street intersection, protected bike lanes, landscaping, and lighting, the project description states. Phase 2 is scheduled for construction in 2020.

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