Cost to pave roads, install curb ramps outlined

Construction for Marietta’s 2014 asphalt paving program, including installation of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections, will cost $529,366, approximately 8.6 percent above the original engineer’s estimate, according to a presentation to city council’s streets and transportation committee Wednesday.

“The only bid received was from Shelly & Sands, and that was for the basic bid, plus an alternate for paving and ADA curb ramps on Fort Street,” city engineer Joe Tucker told the committee members.

He said although the bid came in higher than the engineer’s estimate, it was still within the allowable 10 percent contingency range.

“We’ll have the pre-construction meeting July 10, and the start date for installing the ADA curb ramps will be July 14,” Tucker said. “The scheduled completion date is Sept. 19, which is the earliest end date we’ve had since I came on board as city engineer.”

He also reported that a project to widen and improve an 0.35-mile section of Mill Creek Road from the intersection with Colegate Drive would cost the city $456,516, with $870 from the city, and the remaining $455,646 coming from an Appalachian Regional Commission grant.

“The project is currently out for bids by the Washington County engineer,” Tucker said, noting that the majority of the project is outside the city limits.

The estimated start date for the Mill Creek Road upgrade is July 23, with projected completion by Sept. 26 of this year.

Tucker said a major reason for the project was to provide better access to the Thermo Fisher facility on Mill Creek Road.

“Thermo is one of the largest industrial employers in the county,” added Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, noting the importance of the project for the city.

Also on Wednesday, Tucker reported that the city’s 2014 Safe Routes to Schools project is estimated to cost $194,167. The project will include installation of new sidewalks, curb extensions, median islands, curb ramps, pavement and drainage connections, and various traffic control devices at four school locations.

The improvements will include upgrades to Market Street, Crawford Street, and Fort Square at Harmar Elementary School; Wayne Street, school driveway and parking lot at Phillips Elementary School; Washington Street and Fourth Street at Washington Elementary School; and Walker Street, school driveway, and parking lot at Marietta Middle School.

Tucker said the bid award date for the project is expected to be around Sept. 29 of this year, and it is hoped some initial construction will take place this fall. The estimated completion date is June 30, 2015.

On another issue Wednesday, Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said there should be some public education about proper communication between bicyclists and pedestrians on the River Trail.

“Bikers often don’t communicate to let pedestrians know bikes are passing them on the trail,” he said. “Typical words used should be ‘passing on your left’ or just ‘on your left.’ And pedestrians have the right of way on the path. There’s a real danger that someone could get hurt.”

Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, noted that the problem is even greater for bicyclists and pedestrians who travel the trail listening to music with ear buds in their ears. He added that such issues point to the need to have some kind of patrolling along the River Trail.

Council’s lands, buildings and parks committee also considered several issues Wednesday afternoon, including a request for an air conditioner replacement at the O’Neill Center building on Fourth Street. The city leases the facility to the O’Neill Center.

Connie Huntsman, executive director of the O’Neill Center, said an A/C unit that cools half of the facility’s lower level area had developed a refrigerant leak and would have to be replaced. She said the unit was installed in 1979 and is among seven aging air conditioners in the building.

City recreation clerk Susan Joyce said funding had already been set aside for the unit which would cost $3,400.

O’Neill Center board member Mike Scales also asked if the city had considered a plan to replace other aging HVAC equipment in the building.

Vukovic asked if Scales could have the center’s executive committee develop a long-term maintenance plan for the facility. Scales said the committee would be happy to work up a plan.

Eric Lambert, project manager with the city’s engineering department, proposed spending $11,018 to correct drainage issues at the Lookout Park tennis courts.

“This is a materials-only amount, assuming that city workers could do the work using city equipment,” he said. “If you decide to contract the work out, I would multiply that amount by 2.5.”

Lambert estimated the work would take about two weeks to complete with a crew of three workers.

In addition, Lambert said a low bid of $30,165 had been submitted by Harrison Construction to repair the deteriorating gazebo on Ohio Street near the Ohio River levee.

The structure is currently braced up with scaffolding and cordoned off from the public. Council members want to have the gazebo repaired and opened before the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival this fall.

Lambert said once the contract is awarded, work could begin as early as mid-July on restoration of the gazebo.

Lands, buildings and parks committee chairman Harley Noland, D-at large, also reported that some artifacts dug out of the Capitoleum mound where the Washington County Library is now located on Fifth Street would be given to the Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio History Collection for preservation.

“These are not artifacts that would be suitable for display,” Noland explained. “They’re mainly soil stratas with ash deposits-basically samples of mud with some small shards of broken pottery from the mound.”

The samples were obtained from the Hopewell Indian mound during an excavation between 1989 and 1991.

Noland said the Ohio History Collection in Columbus would have the proper facilities to preserve the artifacts.