Diamond Drive Phase 3 could soon be underway

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By Jennifer Garcia

Los Alamos residents get ready. Construction for Diamond Drive Phase 3 could be right around the corner.

During Tuesday night’s county council meeting, a motion will be presented to council asking that a bid in the amount of $4,909,516, plus applicable gross receipts tax, be awarded to RMCI Inc. for the construction of Diamond Drive Phase 3.

Along with the bid, the motion asks that a Diamond Drive Phase 3 budget in the amount of  $6,868,447 be established and that councilors approve an associated budget revision, moving $208,681 from Phase 2 remaining funds to increase the Phase 3 roadwork budget from $4,330,000 to $4,538,681.

Six bids were received in response to the bid for Phase 3 that was put out by the county. They ranged in amounts from $4,909,516 to $6,637,456 for both the utility and roadway work, not including gross receipts tax. The low bidder was RMCI.

Though they did not work on the first two phases of Diamond Drive, RMCI, constructed the Eco Station for Los Alamos County last year. The contractor that did the work on Phases 1 and 2 was AS Horner, based in Albuquerque.

According to its website, Albuquerque-based RMCI provides general contracting services throughout the Southwest for both public and private sector owners.

In addition to working in New Mexico, they also work in Texas, Colorado and Arizona. The company was started in 1990 and has completed hundreds of projects with work in place totaling over $200 million for various clients.

Assuming that council awards the bid to RMCI, County Engineer Ted Garcia said work would begin approximately 30 days after the award.

“Once the contract is awarded, we’ll give them notice of award. That should happen on March 25. They then have three to four weeks to get their bonds together. During that time, they’ll coordinate with (Project Manager) Rey Gonzales to set up a pre-construction conference,” Garcia said.

Garcia said that utility work, as well as water, sewer and gas lines will be part of the Phase 3 construction, in addition to electrical and work for Qwest and Comcast.

“We will also replace all the concrete of the sidewalks, install new curbs and gutters and do sidewalk and pavement rehabilitation on a portion of the street,” he continued.

In addition, Garcia mentioned that bus stops and bike lanes have also been incorporated into this phase of the project.

According to information on the county’s website, the county has taken precautionary steps to help reduce public inconvenience during Phase 3 because of the difficulties that residents experienced during Phase 2 construction.

A document entitled “Diamond Drive Phase 2 Lessons Learned” has been submitted to council under separate cover and addresses specific planned precautionary and remedial measures to help address potential issues during Phase 3.

Garcia said he was not sure what sort of closures or delays the public could expect during Phase 3 because the contractor has not yet submitted their traffic control plans.

He said that Gonzales should receive the plans from RMCI, shortly after the contract is awarded.