Council pushes street work ahead

The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized McDonald Engineering to prepare bid specificati

The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously authorized McDonald Engineering to prepare bid specifications for completing reconstruction of Church Street, work that will more than double the original estimate of the project.

Ray Halgas, acting city engineer and supervisor of the Department of Public Works, said the completion of Church Street would cost the city at least $360,000 more than the $353,256 that contractor Delsignore Paving has already charged for its work.

Church Street, which is part of Route 67, is a main state road that many use as a connector from the Thruway to the Northway. Halgas said the road receives a lot of wear because of truck traffic. He said the infrastructure under the road, including water mains, catch basins and sewer pipes, is aging and needs work. He said addressing those aspects before repaving the road would prolong the road’s life but also cost more money.

Halgas projected it would cost $200,000 to repair the road under the surface from Forest Avenue to Clizbe Avenue and $160,000 to repave it. Halgas said that didn’t include the engineering costs from McDonald Engineering.

“I just want this to get done,” Alderman William Wills, D-4th Ward, said. “There is a real dip in the road, cars are veering over into the other lane and I can see someone getting hit.”

According to Halgas, reconstruction of Church Street was originally budgeted at $416,000 — $270,000 from a state multi-modal grant, $140,000 from a state highway improvement program and $6,000 from the city.

Halgas said the $270,000 was going to be used for curbing and sidewalk improvements. Delsignore Paving, the contractor who completed the sidewalk and curbing work, also did additional feet of curbing and additional square feet of sidewalk and repaired catch basins, Halgas said.

Common Council members said they didn’t receive answers to questions they posed, including who authorized Delsignore Paving to go ahead with the additional work. Alderwoman Kim Brumley, C-3rd Ward, said she wanted to make sure the city looked at its policies because she didn’t want this type of confusion again.

Mayor Ann Thane agreed.

“This administration is looking at ways to better track grants and projects,” she said. “It’s a huge concern of mine.”

Common Council members also argued over whether to pay Delsignore Paving the $353,256 it owed the company for the work already done on Church Street, but ultimately agreed to do so.

Brumley wanted to wait another week to determine whether the city could negotiate with the company because there was a question of how long its work would last.

Alderman Joseph Isabel, R-1st Ward disagreed, saying the council’s procedural issues shouldn’t hold the company liable any longer or penalize it for work everyone agrees was carried out professionally.

Categories: Schenectady County

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