Auburn will ask for bids on Nevada Street project

Estimated cost is $4.8 million
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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An end is in sight for drivers experiencing the bone-shaking Nevada Street ride.

Auburn City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to put the final phase of a multi-million-dollar bike land and sidewalk project out to bid.

Cost is estimated at $4.8 million. Already completed is $565,000 first stage that moved utilities and removed trees but left the project route between Fulweiler Avenue and the Interstate 80 interchange with an uneven road surface.

Two attempts to find a contractor for the second phase were stalled in 2018, leading to Tuesday’s vote to try a third time.

City Councilwoman Sandra Amara noted the importance of Nevada Street - a direct link to and from Interstate 80 and a connector to the Blocker Drive bus and train station.

“I see a very upside for Auburn this is exactly the project we need to connect our lower town with our train station and not to mention this is a corridor where a lot of traffic goes through this area,” Amara said.

While there was no opposition to the motion to proceed with the bidding process, concerns linger that the estimate could still be too low.

“We all hope and pray this will come in reasonably,” Councilman Matt Spokely said.

Councilman Bill Kirby had spoken against the project in the past but was onboard with a start on a rebid.

“I voted against the first project,” Kirby said. “We’re at a point where we don’t have any other choice and it’s something I think we need.”

Director of Planning Public Works Bernie Schroeder said that $1.2 million in “local investments” will result in the city receiving more than $3.6 million of infrastructure improvements along Nevada Street.