Several factors contribute to a transit center twice as expensive in Snowmass

A Snowmass Village shuttle bus arrives at the Daly Lane Bus Depot at the Snowmass Shopping Center. A new transit center could eventually replace the depot with a hub for Village Shuttle buses as well as the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority service near the entrance to the mall, although costs for this project have doubled from initial projections. .
Snowmass Sun / File Photo

Snowmass Village officials aren’t exactly thrilled with the latest cost projections for a new transit center on Snowmass Mall, which stand at nearly $ 26.2 million, more than double the original price of $ 13 million. of dollars.

“A little disappointing” is the phrase Mayor Bill Madsen used at Monday’s city council meeting which included a homeowner’s review of the project. “Overwhelming” was Town Councilor Alyssa Shenk’s description during the discussion. City Councilor Tom Fridstein said his confidence had been “extremely shaken”.

“Am I satisfied with the price? No I’m not. I’m frustrated like everyone else, ”Transportation Director David Peckler told the meeting.

But with all the “sweat equity” that has already been invested in the project, Peckler and the other planners are not throwing in the towel, far from it. They are already looking for solutions to close the gap and reduce costs where possible, he said.

But why is it costing so much more now? There are a number of factors at play, Peckler said on Tuesday in a follow-up phone call.

On the one hand, this estimate of 13 million dollars was produced around 2019-2020; inflation factor and the total climbs a few million.

It was also only an “opinion on probable cost”, a sort of “very rough sketch” calculated on the basis of general and approximate figures of construction costs which may not have explained the consequences. higher prices in mountain communities like Snowmass Village, Peckler said. The calculation of the “Rough Order of Magnitude” which produced the figure of 26 million dollars uses figures closer to reality with quotes from subcontractors.

Then there have been some major design updates over the past couple of years. These include adding a second story to the building at the heart of the transit hub, relocating the connecting road between the upper part of Brush Creek Road and the lower part of Carriage Way and expanding the reach of the snowmelt system that keeps this road clear. All of these real changes come with real costs.

And other advancements in the design process also came with more detail on the soils in the area and the costs associated with building a stable platform.

In total, new information, more pricing details and project changes were among the factors that pushed this total so high. Then it’s time to fill the gaps with new sources of funding.

City staff are preparing to apply for a $ 13.5 million grant to the Federal Transit Administration’s bus and bus facilities program to close the gap, city documents say.

“I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that Mr. Peckler can write a grant like hell because I know he can,” CEO Clint Kinney said at the meeting.