State contractors will begin a project July 9 to create a new U.S. Business 54 in Callaway County. This ribbon of highway will be reconstructed from the north boundary of Fulton to the south, including a city-managed portion from the Fulton roundabout (or Second Street interchange) to a point in the north near Ovid Bell Press.
This week, Fulton City Engineer Kyle Bruemmer said the project's estimated completion date is Dec. 1.
"They'll make sure there's ingress and egress to businesses and homes," he said.
Bruemmer added the contract stipulates a five-day period to work on each entry/exit and a formula for fines if the five-day limit is exceeded.
Fulton city officials decided to piggyback on this important project so the entire project has consistency and so bids could be combined with the state. Bruemmer said his initial estimate of about $700,000 for the city's portion was under the bid amount, with the lowest bid coming in about $1.13 million from Linn general contracting company Aplex Inc. The next two bids were even higher, at $1.3 million and $1.6 million.
Bruemmer said he estimated the cost of asphalt for the project at $50 per ton, but the price of all petroleum products has risen, including gasoline, and is now more than $90 per ton. Other items bumped up the cost of the project, he added.
Fulton Chief Financial Officer Kathy Holschiag said the city had funds to cover the extra cost.
Every so often, the federal government decides to audit projects in which federal funds are being used. Such is the case of this project, for which Missouri Department of Transportation officials are using federal funding.
"The federal government chose this project for review," Brummer said, adding this caused a slight delay.