Thursday, April 28, 2005

Vacaville Nut Tree development to begin late May

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 - 11:42:01 pm PDT

Nut Tree development to begin late May

By Claire St. John

VACAVILLE - Although roadwork costs for the Nut Tree exceeded city estimates by about $1 million, council members, engineers, a finance manager and a lot of residents are excited to see the development take shape."This really is a milestone for the Nut Tree because we're actually going to start seeing something happening," said Mayor Len Augustine after the council unanimously approved awarding the construction contract.The low bidder was Ghilotti Construction Co., at almost $15.7 million, about $1.1 million above city engineer estimates."That's roughly seven percent above, which isn't unusual in today's climate," Finance Director Ken Campo said. "It will never be equal to the engineer's estimate."The money will go to widening the Nut Tree Road overcrossing across Interstate 80 and pushing East Monte Vista Avenue back toward the middle of the property and turning it from two lanes to four with a wide, landscaped median.

Water, sewer and storm drain systems will be installed, as well as two new traffic signals, landscaping and irrigation.Because the project infringes on state Department of Transportation territory, plans and approvals took years."A myriad of approvals had to be obtained," Campo said."We've been working on the design and concept of this for four or five years," Public Works director Dale Pfeiffer said. "It's taken about three years for Caltrans approval."The Nut Tree Airport didn't make things any easier. To improve access to that, county and Federal Aviation Authority approval was needed."If it was easy to do, it would have been done by private development," Campo said.In the face of all that, a $1 million overrun wasn't too difficult to fix. The extra money will come from traffic impact fees and the city's redevelopment agency. Construction is set to begin May 23 and continue for 14 months.Meanwhile, Nut Tree development will go through the planning stages and initial construction of shops and parks will begin, Pfeiffer said.When completed, the Nut Tree will include entertainment options such as an amusement park, a shady plaza with bocce courts flanked by fine dining and specialty boutiques. "They're working with the concept that this is a regional project, not just serving the city," Pfeiffer said.

Reach Claire St. John at 427-6955 or

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive