LAFAYETTE — The city is moving forward with a trail that will ultimately link the community park and Burton Ridge, albeit with a minor bump along the way.
The City Council approved the $208,000 construction contract for the Murray Lane Trail in June, and officials had planned on construction beginning earlier this month.
But the contractor awarded the project, Ameca General Engineering, now says it cannot get financing for the work and has requested its bid be withdrawn.
Rather than award the contract to the next closest bidder — at $309,000 — the city is opting to rebid the project in the hope that it can attract at least a couple of new offers and potentially keep the cost down.
"I'm hoping that, in the optimistic case "... I would actually attract one, two or more bidders that didn't bid the last time, because we only had four bids," said engineering services manager Tony Coe. "(If) I can get five or six bids, then perhaps we can do better."
Coe will ask the City Council on Monday to approve the rebidding and allow City Manager Steven Falk to award a contract so long as the lowest bid is still within the project budget.
Coe said he is hoping the project can be completed by Nov. 1.
The trail, to run along the undeveloped side of Murray Lane between Burton Drive and Michael Lane, will eventually provide a direct link between Lafayette Community Park and the Burton Ridge Trail.
The project will also include improving pathways in the north end of the park.
Overall, it includes a bridge across Grizzly Creek into the park. For now, the city will look into making it easier for people to get from the end of Murray Lane to the park entrance on Silverado Drive.
It could be years before the city can acquire the land to connect the trail to the ridge. Because of that, several residents who live near the project site criticized it earlier this year as a "trail to nowhere" and a waste of money.
Most of the funding for the project is coming from East Bay Regional Park District grants, said Jennifer Russell, the city's parks and recreation director.
Cities like Lafayette that are mostly built out have to be flexible when trying to piece together a trail system, and need to build what they can when they can, Russell said.
"We work with private property owners at different stages and try to negotiate a way to get to these great ridge tops," she said. "Sometimes it takes decades to actually complete trail connections."
Contact Jonathan Morales at 925-943-8048. Read the Lamorinda Sun blog at www.ibabuzz.com/lamorindasun.