Supervisors approve Salt Creek Trail construction contract

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The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a construction contract to build approximately 5.2 miles of the Salt Creek Trail.

A 5-0 vote, Dec. 17, authorized a $3,905,875 contract with the Indio office of Granite Construction Company for the contract. The supervisors’ action also approved two addenda to the plans and specifications.

The entirety of the Salt Creek Trail will cover 16 miles and will be a multi-purpose regional trail. A Class I bicycle path that is separate from any areas accessible to motor vehicles will be part of the trail. The Salt Creek Trail includes portions in the cities of Menifee and Hemet as well as within unincorporated Riverside County. The board of supervisors’ members are also the board of the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District, which will maintain and operate the trail once it has been completed. The Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District delegated the design and construction of the trail to the county’s Transportation Department. Their Dec. 10 action was from the board of supervisors rather than from the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District.

The contract will provide for the construction of two segments of the Salt Creek Trail, totaling 5.2 miles. The 4.3-mile western segment is within Menifee and will extend along the north side of the Salt Creek flood control channel from Goetz Road to Antelope Road. The eastern segment covers 0.9 miles within Hemet and will run along the vicinity of the Salt Creek drainage course on the north side of Domenigoni Parkway between Sanderson Avenue and Searl Parkway.

The construction will provide a hot mix asphalt concrete trail along with placement of decomposed granite, concreted rock blanket, rock slope protection, concrete pavement, sidewalks, driveways, curbs and gutters, curb ramps, cable railing fencing, trail fencing, chain link fencing, pipe gates, pipe swing gates, drainage improvements including concrete headwalls and wingwalls, installation of pedestrian traffic signals at road crossings, signal modifications, roadside signs, painted traffic striping and thermoplastic pavement marking.

The bid documents included a base bid covering construction of the trail and two alternative bid schedules regarding the relocation and adjustments of Eastern Municipal Water District surface facilities. The alternative bid schedules were contingent upon EMWD approval. One of those covers facilities between Goetz Road and the Sun City Channel and the other covers infrastructure from the Sun City Channel to Interstate 215. A funding agreement between EMWD and the county was approved by the director of the Transportation Department.

The addenda covered encroachment permits, payment and an abbreviation correction.

A 5-0 board of supervisors’ vote, Sept. 24, approved the plans and specifications for the Salt Creek Trail construction while also authorizing the clerk of the board of supervisors to advertise the project for bids. That action also set the bid opening for Oct. 16, and four bids were received by the deadline.

Granite Construction had the lowest bid at $3,905,875. Although the bid was 16% above the engineer’s estimate of $3,355,350, the bid was 10% below the average of the four bids. All-American Asphalt of Corona submitted the second-lowest bid of $4,301,736.60. During a 2014 Call for Projects, the Riverside County Transportation Commission approved $5,090,000 of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding from the Federal Highway Administration for the project, and the RCTC approved an extra $594,203 of CMAQ funding for the project, Dec. 11, to cover the additional contract cost along with environmental mitigation, construction management and contingency. The total $5,684,203 of CMAQ funding also covers other phases of the project. EMWD will provide $36,950, and Development Impact Fee revenue will complement the CMAQ and EMWD funding.

The Sept. 24 vote also found that no additional environmental review was required. The board of supervisors approved the final initial study for the Salt Creek Trail in November 2017. That approval included an environmental Mitigated Negative Declaration along with a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program. Those environmental documents were deemed sufficient for the current milestone of the project.

Construction on the segments of the Salt Creek Trail is expected to begin in early 2020 and will take approximately six months to complete.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.