Cambridge board moves to get sidewalk work right

Monday October 8, 2012


Staff Writer

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- Outstanding concerns with aspects of recent Main Street pedestrian improvements in Cambridge could be resolved before the end of the year.

The downtown work last May was completed on a tight deadline and was "skinned" down from the original project, according to Thomas Baird, a senior managing engineer with Barton and Loguidice, the Albany firm overseeing the final phase of the project.

"Some of the issues out there are because of the trimming," said Baird, who pointed to budget overruns earlier in the grant-funded project, which also included the parking lot, paths, lighting, and drainage for the downtown Freight Yard and restoration of building facades along Main Street in the area of Hubbard Hall.

Village trustees met with Baird last week and the two parties agreed to work on several issues following a site visit with engineers, state Department of Transportation officials, and village public works Superintendent Mike Telford.

After the work was completed earlier this year shortly before Memorial Day, some began to voice concerns with sidewalk drainage between a creek and the corner of Main and South Union streets, and ponding and erosion at the northeast corner of Main and North Union.

Baird told trustees Wednesday that a limited amount of additional work would be enough to "mobilize" the construction firm, DelSignore Blacktop Paving, into re-doing those areas of concern "at cost," or for the cost of materials only.

"These guys ... they’ll work with you like this," he said.

Baird said the roadwork was revised four separate times before construction began, to reduce construction costs while still satisfying the minimum requirements of the grant, which was awarded by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. He pointed to several design items taken out from the project’s original scope that contributed to runoff and drainage issues.

A proposal to replace the sidewalk in front of O’Hearn’s Pharmacy, correct a low point at the end of a sidewalk, and install a dry well at the intersection totaled $8,050. A grate around a tree would be removed and the work would include a new section of sidewalk previously untouched. Fading sidewalk striping has already been re-done.

Baird also asked trustees to consider an additional invoice for design and inspection overages, totaling just over $5,400, which would allow his engineering firm to break even on the project, he said.

The roadwork portion of project costs was awarded to DelSignore this spring for a bid of $198,705; but the completed work eventually came under budget at $167,982.

Telford questioned the effectiveness of a proposed dry well at the intersection, prompting the site visit and a special board meeting this week to work out specifics.

The costs to complete the work were projected to still be under the amount the village borrowed earlier this year, necessitating no additional scramble for funds. In May, trustees had to approve a short-term, five-year Bond Anticipation Note to cover the final scope of the project.

Without completing this spring’s road work, the minimum requirements of the grant would not have been satisfied and Cambridge could have been on the hook to refund all funds previously received. The awarded grant, not including a 20 percent local matching share, totaled $517,317.


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