Engineering - Feb. 5, 2019
The city Real Estate Office will send letters this month to property owners along Meadowlark Drive to begin the process of acquiring right-of-way and easements needed to widen the road. It is one of several preliminary steps that are being taken so that construction can proceed as soon as possible after a contract is awarded.
Voters approved $5.6 million in the 2014 bond referendum to widen Meadowlark Drive between Country Club and Robinhood roads. Bids were opened in July but all substantially exceeded the project budget, said Robert Prestwood, the city engineer.
"A contributing factor to the high bids was the sheer number of road projects currently under construction, such as Business 40 and the Northern Beltway, creating a shortage of contractors available to undertake additional work," Prestwood said. "The city did attempt to negotiate with the low bidder but ultimately we decided to reject all bids."
While the city identifies additional sources of money for the project, other necessary steps are being taken:
- The City Council has approved a contract with Duke Energy to relocate power poles along the road.
- The City Council has authorized city staff to begin acquiring property needed to widen the road. It also authorized the acquisition of temporary construction easements and utility easements.
- Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are scheduled in the coming months to relocate infrastructure that must be moved for the project.
In addition, the city is continuing to coordinate with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools with respect to the traffic improvements the school system is planning for Meadowlark Elementary and Middle schools.
At this point, the city's goal is to complete the project in its entirety from Robinhood to Country Club roads, Prestwood said. This includes the addition of two traffic lights and a walking/bicycle path on the east side of the road.