The Pellicano Drive Widening Project will widen and improve this important roadway. However, the project has been delayed. See below for project background and information, which will be updated regularly.
The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) is a local governmental entity tasked with developing transportation projects in the El Paso region. Established in 2007, the CRRMA has been involved in over $1.4 billion worth of major transportation projects, including State Spur 601 (Inner Loop), Americas Interchange (Loop 375 at I-10), the El Paso Streetcar Project, and SunCycle – El Paso’s Bike Share Program. Current projects include the extension or upgrade of Montwood, John Hayes, and Valley Chile Road in Vinton, as well as the Wyler Tramway Project.
In 2017, El Paso County entered into an agreement with the CRRMA, where the CRRMA was tasked with designing and constructing the Pellicano Project. The design was completed in 2020, and the CRRMA hired a construction contractor in March 2020.
The Pellicano Drive Widening Project (the Project) scope includes the reconstruction of the existing roadway to a 6-lane divided roadway with raised median, concrete pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalk, landscaping, safety illumination, storm drainage, signing and striping from Loop 375 (Joe Battle) to Berryville Street/Darrington Road. The Project is intended to improve safety and mobility on that heavily used roadway. The total construction cost was bid at $22.1 million and includes federal, state, and local funding.
The completion date established pursuant to the contract and later change orders was July 21, 2022. Less than 50% of all required construction activities have been completed as of today. Major uncompleted items include the installation of concrete and asphalt, roadway base and subgrade materials, lighting, sidewalks and a shared-use path, and water/sanitary sewer/storm sewer facilities. Liquidated Damages are being assessed against the selected construction contractor each workday after July 21, 2022, for which the Project remains uncompleted ($3,150/day).
Following the required process for federally funded projects like this one, the CRRMA issued a Notice of Default to the contractor and issued a claim against the contractor’s performance bond. These steps are required to properly remove a contractor from a federally funded construction project and are intended to result in the replacement of the original contractor so that construction may resume. However, this process is long and requires investigation by the contractor’s surety company (the entity that provided the referenced performance bond).
This is where we are in the process now. However, there are a couple of complicating factors that must be noted. First, the contractor has objected to the CRRMA’s default. This objection adds time to the process, as we must defend the default. In addition, the contractor has also recently filed for bankruptcy, which also impacts the ability to advance the project, and likely extends the process. Please check this webpage periodically, as we will provide updates here on the default and the bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, as these processes are ongoing, no significant construction activity will occur in the near term. However, we will continue to work toward resuming construction as quickly as possible. While dealing with a non-performing contractor is time-consuming, the CRRMA must continue to work within the process required of federally funded projects to get to completion.
As noted above, the contractor filed for bankruptcy in March of 2023. This action provided certain protections to the contractor, which included the restriction on the CRRMA from pursuing the completion of the Project without court approval. As a result, the CRRMA had to request authorization from the bankruptcy court to be released from that restriction, which was granted in May of 2023. The CRRMA then restarted the effort to have the contractor’s surety begin work on the project. The CRRMA continues to monitor the bankruptcy proceedings for potential impacts on Pellicano and has attended almost every hearing to date.
Unfortunately, as also noted above, the contractor has objected to the CRRMA’s default of the contractor and has stated that it intends to file a claim against the CRRMA. As a result of this objection, the contractor has requested additional meetings with the CRRMA to try to resolve their dispute of the default. The CRRMA has met with the contractor and continues to try to resolve the dispute, but ultimately still contends that the default was proper, and that the contractor’s surety is required to take over the project from the contractor. The CRRMA will continue to pursue all avenues available to restart construction, but there is no known timeline on when construction will begin again.
We hope that this background information is helpful to you. However, please let us know of any questions you may have. Send an email to [email protected] or call (915) 212-1072 for more information. Thank you.