Spencer is looking to start construction on the trailhead within two months – Salisbury Post

Spencer is looking to start construction on the trailhead within two months

Posted at 12:07 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

SPENCER — A long-awaited trail project in Spencer is set to get underway this fall after the city council signed a contractor last week.

Council approved Hall Contracting’s low bid of $754,410 for the trailhead project on the Rowan County side of the Wil-Cox Bridge. The bid fell short of Bar Construction’s $900,050 offer with alternatives included.

Base deals were closer, with Hall at $585,200 and Bar at $621,000. The majority of the difference came when alternative improvements like a paved parking lot and plaza area improvements were added with contingency funding.

Spencer’s special projects planner, Joe Morris, told the Post that the city has about $197,000 in additional funds to raise to cover all of the no-compromise upgrades. The project was largely funded by large private donations. He said the city is looking to bridge that gap with additional funding sources that the city is in touch with, but the city could reduce the cost of the project if necessary through “value engineering” on the project.

One way to cut the cost would be to replace the paved parking lot with gravel or cut out plaza improvements like cobblestones and retaining walls.

“We could rent them,” Morris said. “But as I said, we hope to raise additional funds.”

Morris told the board that the price, presented last Tuesday, is good for 60 days and the construction market is uncertain.

“Everyone has heard about the supply chain, the cost of labor and fuel, and all that kind of stuff,” Morris said. “But, the way it was offered, if we had the funds available to us tonight, we would do this and get all of this for this price.”

Alderman Steve Miller asked Morris if he was comfortable with Hall as the contractor for the project. The company is based in Charlotte. Morris said the city researched Hall and the company specializes in large-scale infrastructure projects.

“They’re sort of new to the parks and recreation building business,” Morris said.

He noted that the project’s architectural firm, Benesch, as well as landscape architect Jeff Ashbaugh, are currently working with Hall on another project. Morris said Ashbaugh praised his collaboration with Hall on the other project.

Alderman Andrew Howe moved the motion to allow City Manager Peter Franzese to negotiate a contract with Hall. He said Morris continued to deliver and trusted him to continue to do so with this project.

Morris said the city hopes construction will be underway within 60 days.

The trails will stand opposite the Davidson County development across the river, though Spencer described his project as complementary.

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