Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta.
After construction bids came in significantly higher than originally estimated, the Goleta City Council is set to decide Tuesday how to proceed with the Hollister Avenue Old Town Interim Striping Project. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk photo)

After construction bids came in significantly higher than originally estimated, the Goleta City Council on Tuesday is set to decide how to proceed with the Hollister Avenue Old Town Interim Striping Project.

The project — which has been in planning and design phases for over two years after the council approved the project in January 2021 — is intended to “increase safety, accessibility, and mobility for all users on Hollister Avenue,” according to the staff report for Tuesday’s council meeting.

Plans call for restriping Hollister Avenue between Fairview and Kinman avenues to reduce travel lanes from two lanes to one lane in each direction, adding back-in angled parking, and installing bike lanes in each direction. 

The project also includes the implementation of 90-minute parking restrictions, traffic-signal upgrades, and pavement restoration.

The project had been moving forward, with the Goleta City Council voting Oct. 27, 2022, to enter into the final design and construction phases.

However, the lowest bid amount for construction came in at more than $2 million over the engineer’s estimate of just over $1.8 million.

The city received two proposals during its bidding call between June 29 and Aug. 10.

Granite Construction, the lowest responsible bidder, submitted a bid of $4,015,848, while Toro Enterprises bid $4,499,221.

The staff report says that Public Works staff typically recommends the award of a project if the bid is within 20% above or below the engineer’s estimate, but Granite’s bid is more than 118% over the estimate.

The proposed alternatives that the council will have to consider on Tuesday include rejecting both bids and rebidding the project next year — after Public Works staff works to determine any changes to make the project more appealing to contractors — or awarding the project to Granite Construction as the lowest responsible bidder.

Rebidding next year would mean that the project is delayed by at least another year, while awarding the project to Granite Construction would reduce about $3.6 million from being transferred to other capital improvement projects that are underfunded.

That approach also would increase the funding gap of these other capital improvement projects, such as the Eckwill Street and Fowler Road Extensions Project, the San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path Northern and Southern Segments, and annual pavement maintenance.

The staff report says that the total project cost is now estimated to be over $5 million, and the current available budget is just over $1.1 million.

The City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive.

The meeting can also be viewed live on the city’s website here. Information on providing public comment or participating via Zoom is available on the meeting’s agenda here.

Other items on the agenda include a constructive cooperative agreement with Caltrans for improvements related to the San Jose Creek Multipurpose Path project, and consideration of no-parking zones on Overpass Road at the Metropolitan Transit District Terminal 2.