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BUSD approves deductive change order for Bonsall ES traffic improvements

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Most change orders to a contract add payment to the contractor to account for complications beyond the contractor’s control or an additional scope of work. On Sept. 28, the Bonsall Unified School District board approved a deductive change order which reduces the amount the school district will pay for the contract to construct operational traffic improvements around Bonsall Elementary School.

The board’s 5-0 vote approved the change order which reduced the original $212,864 amount by $55,114. “The fact that we had a vendor who came in, completed the work early, and did it for less than they quoted us was very nice,” said BUSD superintendent Joseph Clevenger. “Any time we have a change order when we actually have less than they quoted us, we celebrate it.”

In June, the BUSD board awarded Southwest Construction Services, Inc., the construction contract for the work. The original scope of work included modifying the existing drop-off route, a parking lot overlay, traffic striping, signage, bollards, and barrier arm gates.

The work is intended to relieve traffic congestion around Bonsall Elementary School. In October 2021, the BUSD board approved an agreement with AlphaStudio Design Group to develop studies for improving traffic flow at the school. AlphaStudio Design Group conducted field work comprised of visual observations to document the existing pickup and drop-off traffic congestion conditions, compiled and analyzed the findings to determine deficiencies in the current traffic flows, held information gathering meetings with BUSD staff and outside agencies, identified potential revisions to automobile and pedestrian traffic patterns and drive improvements, provided a preliminary construction cost estimate, and developed a report summarizing all findings and recommendations.

The Jan. 19, BUSD board meeting included a presentation by AlphaStudio principal architect Paul Gallegos on the operational plan which focuses on traffic flow on Old River Road and Camino Del Rey. The plan included a vehicle entry left turn and a vehicle entry right turn on Old River Road, a future traffic circle at Old River Road and Camino Del Rey, a fire access lane to the Bonsall Community Center, a pedestrian crosswalk, a vehicle traffic flow dual lane for loading and passing, a drop-off and pickup zone, a bollard barrier on each side of the drive, a vehicular gate 20 feet from Camino Del Rey, a signalized intersection at Calle de las Brisas which will be optimized at drop-off and pickup times, and a vehicle exit from Calle de las Brisas to Camino Del Rey.

The traffic flow optimization takes into account the Rio Estrella development and the future Bonsall Community Park. Because a county park will be involved, the school district has been working with the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the county’s Department of Public Works and the office of County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

Performing the work in phases not only spreads out the expense over multiple fiscal years but also allows the work to be performed when school is not in session. The Phase I work was performed this summer. The pedestrian access improvements will be part of Phase II, and any improvements involving county right-of-way will need to undergo the County of San Diego process.

Southwest Construction Services worked with AlphaStudio and the district to identify areas of value engineering. Removing the bollards, or poles which protect fixed objects from motor vehicles, saved $64,594 in labor and materials although the addition of two bollards with a chain and two yellow reflective signs added $2,000 to the cost and installing two 10-foot K-rails added another $1,000 to the expenses. The deletion of the purchase and installation of swing gates reduced the cost by $22,250 and deleting the task to move the flag pole saved $9,000.

The asphalt paving was replaced with concrete paving. The work placed six inches of concrete with half-inch bars at 18 inches on center over native soils. The work area increased by 458 square feet so the concrete paving including demolition work and handicap aprons increased the cost by $78,785, but deleting the asphalt paving and the demolition of concrete for the planned asphalt paving offset that increase by $41,155.

“They completed it in a very effective manner,” Clevenger said.


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