Construction prices soar in Delta Junction

Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2003

DELTA JUNCTION (AP) The city of Delta Junction is finding prosperity has its price.

Higher-than-usual construction costs, which may be caused by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense project, are hampering plans to build or renovate city structures.

The proposed renovations would be funded with federal community impact funds tied to the missile project at nearby Fort Greely. Additional plans to make transportation upgrades, which would be funded by other sources, are also being affected by the construction costs.

The city has $12.3 million of Department of Defense money for a variety of projects, including a new landfill, emergency equipment, social services, education and building improvements.

City officials opened bids April 18 on two transportation projects. The low bid for paving the remaining mile of Mill-Tan Road came in 53 percent higher than engineers' estimates. A project to resurface the city airport came in 18 percent above estimates.

The bidding climate does not appear to be very good,'' said Pete Hallgren, city administrator. We're investigating what to do.''

Architects' estimates for building renovation and construction work unveiled last week at a joint meeting of the Delta City Council and Delta Regional Economic Development Council also were sobering. Hallgren said some projects may be delayed in the hope the building climate will be less competitive in 2004.

City and development council representatives informally agreed Monday to proceed with two projects this summer: The building of a $1.3 million 4,000-square-foot addition to the library and the construction of a new 1,260-square-foot facility to house the rescue squad.

No money would be spent this year to improve the recreational facility and ice rink or add to the community center. Those projects would be deferred until 2004, when more impact funding is anticipated.

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