GREELEY – The Weld County Board of Commissioners has terminated the contractor for construction of a roundabout west of Eaton, bringing the project – which was scheduled to be completed by Aug. 14 – to a standstill. The county will now consider other options to finish the project.
Weld County fired Longmont-based Lawson Construction as the contractor for the roundabout at Weld County roads 74 and 33. It had approved the contract with Lawson on Jan. 11, but in August had extended the intersection closure to Dec. 1, but overall progress that meets the county’s engineering standards has been slow, according to a county news release. After many meetings between the Weld County Department of Public Works, which serves as the project manager, and Lawson to review project schedules and standards, termination was made in the best interest of the project and taxpayers, the county said.
“We understand the public’s frustration with the length of this project, and we are actively taking steps to remedy the situation,” said Weld commission chair Mike Freeman. “We owe our residents the best improvement possible while ensuring they get the most benefit out of their taxpayer dollars.”
Throughout the project, which began in January, several steps have been implemented to safeguard project funds. Liquidated damages have been charged to Lawson since Aug. 15, and the county is exploring legal action to further recoup some of the money put toward the project.
Removing a contractor from a project is an uncommon scenario. Weld County’s public works department has a long history of completing projects on time, many to regional and national acclaim. In fact, the roundabout at 35th Avenue and O Street, which was completed last year has a similar design to what was proposed for the intersection of WCR 74 and 33, was recently named top county road project by the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association. In 2021, the roundabout at WCR 54 and 17 received the same designation.
“This is the first time in my 20 years with Weld County that we’ve had to take this step, and we pride ourselves on delivering enhancements quickly and efficiently,” said Curtis Hall, director of the Weld County Department of Public Works. “Clearly, this roundabout has not reached the milestones to be a successful project, but we are fully committed to working diligently toward a solution that will result in the best outcome for the traveling public.”
While the intersection closure remains in place, the county has secured a company to monitor traffic control devices as well as inspect the site for stormwater protection. Future plans for the project’s completion are being discussed, and they will be announced when finalized.