|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - May 2010
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City launches $255,000 paving project
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – After debating the merits of “chip and seal” and asphalt road toppings, the Trinity City Council voted Monday, May 17, to award a street paving bid to Waters Construction Co. of Huntsville. During a special council meeting, the council voted 3-2 to go with a two-course chip and seal process in order to extend their available money to repair as many streets as possible. Because the city asked contractors to bid projects by the square foot, the projected cost of the projects approved Monday night is $255,082. Streets that were approved for work on Monday night were Elizabeth, Rankin, Israel Otis, Walker, North Lakefield and Tenth. At present, the city has $352,671.42 remaining from the $500,000 it borrowed last year for street improvements. The projected $255,082 in Phase II repairs now set to begin will mean the city will still have about $97,500 to do additional street repair. Under Waters Construction’s winning bid, the streets to be repaired will be completely torn up. Their bases will be ground up, mixed with cement and repacked before the chip and seal paving is applied. The company’s bid was for 55 cents per square foot for the base work and 50 cents per square foot for the two-course chip and seal overlay. The company’s combined bid for the work was $1.05 per square foot of street work. As part of the bid process, the city also asked for square-foot bids for a two-inch asphalt overlay. When combined with the base repair bid, Waters Construction was also the low bidder. Their total for this work was $1.65 per square foot. Based on that bid, interim City Manager Buddy Drake calculated the cost for asphalt would be $400,844 – a figure which exceeds the amount now in the street repair fund by more than $48,000. “Every street in town needs to be fixed but why not fix them right,” Councilman Neal Smith said, noting that asphalt would last a lot longer than chip and seal. Smith said he would like to see if Drake could come up with an additional $48,000 in city money to cover the cost of laying asphalt on all the streets under consideration. “There is no question that asphalt is a better material, and if we weren’t going to fix the road base I’d be in favor of it,” said Councilman Wayne Huffman. “But we are going to fix the base and that is something that we have never done before. That will mean that the chip and seal will last a lot longer than it has in the past,” he noted. Huffman noted that by using the less expensive paving, they would be able to repair additional streets. Drake noted most cities currently use the chip and seal paving process on their residential streets and reserve asphalt overlay for the high traffic areas. City Public Works Director Delma Lee Ellis told the council that by repairing the road base, the chip and seal process would be good for between 6-8 years while the asphalt could last 20 years or more. When it came down to a vote, Smith and Councilman Chris Dennis voted for asphalt while councilmen Billy Jo Slaughter and Clegg DeWalt joined Huffman in favoring chip and seal. DeWalt noted because more streets need repair, he had to go with chip and seal to allow the city to repair as many streets as possible. The work approved Monday night will be Phase II of the city’s current street rehabilitation program. Last fall, after borrowing the $500,000, the city paved relatively short sections of six streets with asphalt at a cost of $147,328.58. Those streets were selected for the work because they were in high traffic areas and did not need to have their bases repaired. Drake noted that in addition to the estimated $97,500 that will be left after the Phase II work, he is working to find other funding sources that will enable additional streets to be upgraded. Using the Waters Construction bid, Drake said he will be able to calculate the cost of repairing additional streets and will again approach the Trinity Economic and Industrial Development Corporation (TEIDC) Drake had asked TEIDC in March to assist the city by paving some of the streets as an economic development project. The streets suggested were all lead to the city’s business district. At that time, the TEIDC board rejected the request by a 4-3 vote with part of their objections being based on not knowing the cost of the work. With the bid now in hand, the city manager said he will again ask TEIDC for help and would be able to give them a street-by-street price.