Mission’s costs for Johnson Drive, Martway projects drops from early estimates

Utility crews were at work as usual on Johnson Drive Friday morning. Drivers sometimes find it difficult to negotiate the cones into business parking.
Utility crews have been working since last summer to relocate utilities in anticipation of the Johnson Drive rebuild in 2014.

The total cost to the City of Mission for the extensive street projects on Martway and Johnson Drive extending into 2014 have dropped substantially in the last several months.

Between May and November, the total cost to the city on both projects has been lowered as the Martway construction actually wrapped up and the Johnson Drive project, which will run through next summer, took construction bids last week.

The initial Johnson Drive construction bid came in nearly $684,000 less than the engineer’s estimate. Some additional subcontracts will be awarded in January that will round out the bids. The city had already seen its costs drop from May estimates, mostly as a result of increased participation from Johnson County road funds. That accounted for the bulk of a $1.6 million reduction in what the city is expected to pay.

The Johnson Drive rehabilitation, including a significant storm water project, still will cost approximately $10 million, but the city’s share is expected to be less than $4.5 million. The Martway project, which concluded this summer, cost about $300,000 less than predicted in May for a total of just under $3.3 million. The city’s share was less than $1.3 million.

The Johnson Drive cost estimates had been a point of concern at city council meetings because the cost of acquiring easements and right of way access for sidewalks, parking and roadway were approximately double early estimates.  The council defeated a resolution to increase the project funding based on the May estimates.

In some cases the city did not own easements, going back decades, for sections that are part of the street. In a twist on that scenario, it was discovered that the city easement actually extended into the Verizon building. That is being corrected by vacating the easement for the building owner.

The Johnson Drive project will rebuild the street from storefront to storefront next summer. Utility work in preparation for the project has been under way for months.