The Bluebonnet Lane intersection with Bean Creek Road will get a new four-way stop as part of Scotts Valley’s transportation plan. (Drew Penner/Press Banner)

On June 4 at the Henfling’s stage at the Redwood Mountain Faire, a local bluegrass group called Bean Creek got the all-ages crowd dancing to multi-part harmony set to fiddle and banjo notes.

Three days later, Scotts Valley Council finally pulled the trigger on a million-dollar upgrade to Bean Creek Road, between Bluebonnet Lane and Redwood Way, including approving a $764,144 contract to a single bidder without any discussion.

As part of its consent calendar, Scotts Valley handed a $664,473 job plus 15% contingency of $99,671 to Monterey Peninsula Engineering, a Marina-based company founded by Pebble Beach resident Bart J. Bruno.

The company has previously worked on modernizing a high school field in Seaside, improving downtown Salinas’ Main Street and building a pumping station in Carmel Valley.

Staff reported it advertised the opportunity on its website, in a local newspaper and on construction job boards like Construct Connect, but only got one offer.

“The project was bid on a unit price basis, allowing the contractor to bid from drawings, technical documents, and a pre-bid meeting to provide competitive pricing for each item of work,” Public Works Director Chris Lamm wrote in his report. “Staff reviewed the bid and took into consideration the size of the company, estimated cost to perform the work, and previous work performed for the City of Scotts Valley.”

Scotts Valley has turned to Cummings Group to coordinate construction, which is expected to last through the fall.

That will include drainage system updates, an improved road base and coat of pavement, a pedestrian path from Bluebonnet Lane to the first entrance to the Montevalle neighborhood, new signs, striping on the road and the introduction of a four-way stop at the Bluebonnet and Bean Creek intersection.

The City asked Santa Cruz-headquartered MME Structural and Civil Engineering to draw up plans (designs came out to $90,000).

Scotts Valley expects it will cost $50,499 to test materials and complete other quality control tasks, and it’s designated $77,540 for construction management.

The project, which faced delays due to turnover at City Hall, was already budgeted for last year and includes funding from a $429,769 grant sourced through the Regional Transportation Commission, $328,280 in Measure D sales tax money and $267,951 in SB1 funds from the State.

The consent motion made by Councilmember Donna Lind was approved unanimously, with Vice Mayor Randy Johnson absent and Councilmember Derek Timm voting remotely from a resort in Thailand.

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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