Work on the Rufe Snow improvements project is behind schedule. We understand the public's frustration with the slow progress and are currently working with TxDOT to determine what options are available to move the project forward.
The Rufe Snow improvements project will rebuild and expand the existing five-lane roadway to seven lanes (three travel lanes in each direction plus a center turn lane) between Mid-Cities Boulevard and Ridgetop Road. Intersection and storm drainage improvements will also be made and new sidewalks will be constructed on both sides of the roadway. The work is being performed by Kodiak Trenching and Boring. Motorists are urged to slow down and obey warning signs when travelling in the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost for this project? How is the project funded?
The construction contract awarded for this project is $12,134,407. The bulk of the project is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) through a Federal Grant, which covers approximately 80% of the construction costs with the City covering the remaining 20%. There are some project items that are not eligible for the grant reimbursement, like water lines and street lights for instance, but they constitute a small portion of the work.
What was the bidding process? How many contractors submitted bids?
Because this project was funded through Federal Grants, TXDOT was assigned the task of ensuring that the bidding process, design and construction is compliant with Federal Standards. Federal standards are stringent and require several steps to be followed throughout the bidding, design and construction process. The project was advertised for bid in November 2015, and bids were opened on December 18, 2015. Three bids were received ranging in price from $12,134,407 to $13,709,537.
How was the contractor vetted and selected? Who made this selection?
Per the terms of the contract documents required by TxDOT, the lowest responsive qualified bidder is selected. Before a bidder is determined to be qualified, TxDOT requires that bidders to be pre-qualified through evaluation of their financial health, construction capability, and bonding capacity.
What is the project time line and why is it so long?
The project began in May 2016. The contract is set up to allot the contractor 427 working days (about 21 months) to complete the work. Although the physical length of the project is relatively short at 1.25 miles, roadway widening in heavily traveled corridors is multi-faceted. In order to maintain traffic capacity, the project has to be constructed in three phases, with two travel lanes in both the north and southbound directions to be maintained throughout the project duration. The number of phases is dictated by the available width of the roadway right-of-way. Before each phase of the paving is placed, the underground utility and drainage work has to be installed, meaning these underground pipe networks are also installed in phases, buried and then re-excavated to be connected to. The fastest method to construct this project would be to completely close Rufe Snow to traffic during construction, but that would not be convenient. The phased approach balances speed of construction with impact to the travelling public.
Is something in the contract about finishing on a certain deadline or an incentive to finish early?
There are no early completion incentives, but there are penalties built into the contract for failure to complete the work in the allotted number of work days.
Why aren’t there more workers on this project?
Within the project timeline, neither the City nor TxDOT has the ability to dictate exactly what is being done on any given day, and how many workers must be present. Ultimately they are accountable to finish the scope of the work, built to the standards and specifications within the contract, all within the allotted time. Within those guidelines the contractor is free to choose his “means and methods” by which to perform the work.
Additional questions may be directed to the Public Works Department at 817-427-6400.