Modesto may rebid $3 million road project after sole bid came in higher than expected

The City Council on Tuesday night is expected to reject a bid for a $3 million project to resurface and add bike lanes to several major roads because the one bid Modesto received came in about 18 percent higher than the city estimated.

VSS International of West Sacramento offered to do the work for $2.8 million, while the city estimates the cost at $2.38 million. The rest of the project’s costs include a contingency fund for unanticipated work, engineering and administration.

If the council rejects the bid, city officials will tweak and rebid the project in the expectation of attracting more bidders. Officials expect the road work could take place in spring after the rainy season.

In April, the council approved spending $3 million to fix more than a dozen miles of some of its most heavily traveled roads. The city will repair Standiford Avenue from McHenry Avenue to Dale Road; Tully Road from Ninth Street to Briggsmore Avenue; College Avenue from Needham Street to Briggsmore; Orangeburg Avenue from McHenry to Briggsmore; and Ninth Street from Carpenter Road to Tully Road.

The project includes installing bike lanes. The Ninth Street bike lanes would connect Modesto Junior College’s east and west campuses.

The proposed work for College Avenue has proved controversial because city officials are considering putting nearly all of that stretch of College on what is called a “road diet” to slow and calm traffic and make College safer for bicyclists and walkers.

The road diet would consist of changing the striping from four lanes to two lanes with a center left-turn lane and bike lanes on the both sides of the street and more room for cars parked along the street. The proposal has garnered support from many College Avenue area residents but also some opposition.

In other action, the council is expected to:

• Meet in closed session to discuss labor negotiations between Modesto and its labor groups.

• Meet in closed session to discuss hiring a city manager. Modesto officials have said the city has five candidates for the job, and the council is expected to interview them soon. Mayor Garrad Marsh has said he expects the council will pick someone by the end of the month.

The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.