The new roundabout intersection at of Avenue of the Fountains and La Montana Drive opened to traffic in all directions last week, however motorists should be aware there is still a week or two of work to be done before the project is complete.
The town is having pavement maintenance done on La Montana Drive between Palisades and El Lago boulevards, as well as Avenue of the Fountains from La Montana to Palisades Blvd.
Mill and overlay work is currently underway on those streets with the contractor removing old asphalt and replacing it with new.
Motorists who have driven through the new intersection have likely noticed the drop of about two inches between the new pavement and existing. According to town officials, when all the overlay paving is complete the contractor will come back and put down a top layer over the whole project that will cover and eliminate any seams from the paving.
Also, the contractor for the developer of Keystone’s Havenly at Fountain Hills project is completing widening, curbing and median turns needed along Avenue of the Fountains to access the new development. This work will be done in time to allow for the fresh paving of the Avenue so there will be no seams in the new pavement.
Many people noticed the delay in the roundabout project and that was a result in changes to the final design. When seeing the new curbing installed, which included an isolated right turn lane from eastbound Avenue of the Fountains to southbound La Montana, town staff had concerns that the traffic lane was too close to the crosswalk and the drop box pull-in for the Post Office.
It was decided to eliminate the isolated lane and reduce the pavement on Avenue of the Fountains to a single lane leading into the roundabout. While the narrowing of the street provided the safety town staff desired for traffic and pedestrians, it also created a potential drainage problem.
The narrowing of the street reduced the amount of asphalt available to carry away storm water, increasing the chance of flooding. To correct this situation, the town had the contractor install retention basins in the additional space in the right-of-way in front of the Post Office. According to Public Works Director Justin Weldy, the retention basins will collect storm runoff up to a 10-year storm event. Anything beyond that would overflow the basin onto Avenue of the Fountains, as the street east of La Montana is currently designed to handle.
At its Oct. 20 regular session, the Town Council approved a $16,700 addition to a contract the town has with CK Group, which is the firm that did the engineering design for the roundabout modifications. This is beyond the original contract for the construction project.
When the Town Council approved the construction contract for the roundabout there was an $85,000 owners allowance included as a contingency to cover unforeseen situations. The construction of the project modifications would fall under the unanticipated expenses covered by the owner’s allowance. Town Manager Grady Miller said the allowance does not cover the total cost of construction for the modifications. He said staff is still working with the contractor to arrive at a final cost, however, Miller said it will likely be more than the allowance, but the town’s capital improvement fund will cover any additional costs.
In approving the budget for the current fiscal year, the council prioritized and reduced the potential capital projects the town would take on this year which leaves additional funding to draw from. Also, Finance Director David Pock reported to the council last week that the revenues for construction sales tax, which in part fund the capital fund, are ahead of what was anticipated for the first quarter of the year.