downtown gilroy gourmet alley rendering
An artist’s rendering by CSG Consultants and Dillingham Associates shows the proposed additions to Gourmet Alley between Fourth and Fifth streets.
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Gilroy City Administrator Jimmy Forbis said Dec. 11 that the city received a six-month extension on its state grant to construct amenities to Gourmet and Railroad alleys downtown, after the two bids it received were well over budget.

The City of Gilroy received a $3.9 million grant from the California Department of Transportation’s Clean California Local Grant Program in March 2022.

The funds will be used to improve the Gourmet and Railroad alleyways between Fourth and Seventh streets by adding lighting, benches, garbage enclosures, bicycle and pedestrian markings, signage and more.

The grant mandated that construction be completed by June 2024, or the city loses the funding.

Once the project is complete, the state will reimburse the city.

In October, the city opened bids for interested contractors. However, after initially receiving no responses, the city made some adjustments to the documents and extended the deadline.

That helped the city receive two bids in mid-November; however, they came in at $4.9 million and $5.5 million, according to Forbis, forcing the city to reject them.

City officials met with state representatives, who told them that Gilroy is not alone among the other grant recipients, Forbis said.

“Bidding right now is very difficult,” he said. “We’re seeing many of our projects come in double what we expected. It’s not a good time to bid out projects.”

The city will work on ways to modify the proposal so it comes in under budget, with the expectation of going back out to bid in February. 

Once a contractor is chosen, construction is expected to take 55 days.

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Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.


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