The Mesquite City Council had three construction contractors for the new I-15 Exit 118 interchange project to choose from at its Tuesday night meeting, one of which will move on to the Request For Proposal (RFP) phase.

Meadow Valley Contractors, Inc. was the overall winner against Gerber Construction, Inc. and Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Company, LLC.

Meadow Valley pegged their construction costs at $14,747,824 the lowest of the three. Gerber submitted a bid worth $15.7 and Wadsworth bid the project at $17 million. On other criteria a team of 25 evaluators ranked Meadow Valley first in project management, roadway and structure requirements and second in traffic management.

Councilman Rich Green pointed out that even though price was an significant component in selecting the winning contractor, technical competence was also an important criteria.

Travis Anderson, City of Mesquite Public Works engineer, told the Council that the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Department (RTC) wants the project completed before the November 2016 election. That’s when Clark County residents will vote on renewing the fuel indexing gas tax from which the entire cost of the Exit 118 project is being funded.

RTC has set aside $20 million dollars from the Indexed Fuel Tax Revenues to pay for the Mesquite project.

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The Mesquite City Council approved Meadow Valley Contractors Inc. to move forward towards a final contract for the construction of a new I-15 interchange at milepost 118 southwest of the city. Construction is expected to begin in December and be completed in June 2016.

The contract calls for traffic to start rolling across the new interchange by June 24, 2016. Anderson said Tuesday night that liquidated damages are included in the contract requirements if that date is not met. Bill Tanner, Mesquite Public Works Director, told the Mesquite Local News earlier that the City and the contractor were both confident the June date was viable barring any last minute changes by the Nevada Department of Transportation or unforeseen conditions.

Anderson also pointed out to the Council that the ‘design/build’ nature of the project speeds up the time it takes to complete the construction. He expects actual construction to begin sometime in December.

“Now we will finalize the contract documents and bring it back to you for final award,” Anderson told the Council as they voted unanimously to select Meadow Valley.

Meadow Valley’s operations are concentrated in the Las Vegas, NV and Phoenix, AZ areas with additional offices in Utah. Many of its workers live in the Moapa Valley. Anderson said that by selecting a Nevada-based company ‘it keeps the money closer to home.” The other two firms are based in Utah.

The new interchange will create a direct access route from I-15 to the Mesquite Technical and Commerce Center, the Mesquite Sports and Events Center and a shorter route to Sun City Mesquite via W. Pioneer Blvd and Lower Flat Top Drive. It will also relieve much of the truck traffic at Exit 120 and its difficult-to-maneuver roundabouts.

In other Council business, Fire Chief Cash Christopher reported the approval of a $200,000 grant from the federal government to be used for 25 new firefighter air packs. Christopher said the old equipment was reaching its usability limit. Had the Department not received the grant the City would have had to cover the costs of replacinig the obsolete systems.

A two year Memorandum of Agreement between the City and Partners in Conservation (PIC) worth up to $150,000 was approved by the Council. PIC performs environmental mitigation work for the city primarily along the Virgin River near Hughes Middle School.

Previously the City has requested $157,000 worth of mitigation work from PIC while PIC provided $362,304 in matching contributions.

“We will probably spend between $25,000 and $35,000 a year on this MOA,” City of Mesquite Development Services Director Richard Secrist told the Council. He added that most of the money comes from mitigation funds paid by builders and developers when they build out other areas in the city.

Without public objection the Council approved a Conditional Use Permit and a sale of off-site liquor license for a second Dotty’s Tavern location on El Dorado Road where the 19th Hole Restaurant was located. Dotty’s will continue its current operations near Wal-Mart.