Westfield Board awards Elm Street contract

WESTFIELD – The Water Commission voted Tuesday to award a contract to a Springfield construction company for water line replacement along Elm Street.
The water line/sidewalk replacement effort is the first phase element of the final project in the Elm Street corridor, connecting the Great River Bridge project with the Main Street/Broad Street project. That work will begin next spring and will be financed through Chapter 90 funds already allocated for the project.
The second phase, expected to begin next July, includes regrading the street under the railroad overpass to increase clearance and resurfacing the roadway.
Mayor Daniel M. Knapik initiated the project last year to complete the upgrade of underground utilities, install new sidewalks and pave the section of Elm Street between Church Street and the bridge project.
The contract was awarded to the low bidder, Morais Construction, Inc., pending a reference check because the firm has not worked in Westfield prior to this award. A dozen firms submitted bids on the contract and the three low bidders were all within $100,000 of each other.
City Engineer Mark Cressotti said this morning that the total contract cost, to replace the water lines and construct new sidewalks,  is $1.2 million. The water line replacement work will cost $604,639, while the sidewalk work is projected at $630,239.
“A significant piece of the sidewalk contract is to install traffic signals at the two intersections along the corridor, the Arnold/Thomas streets intersection and at Franklin Street intersection,” Cressotti said. “All of the lights installed as part of the bridge and Main Street/Broad Street projects are new technology that can be remotely controlled, so it makes sense to bring the lights at those intersection up to that level.”
The sidewalk reconstruction element will require the approval of the Board of Public Works.
Knapik said this morning that the project will align the improvements of the two state projects along the entire Elm Street corridor. The recent opening of the Great River Bridge has already alleviated problems with traffic flow through that corridor.
“I’m hearing that things have vastly improved,” Knapik said. “So when we close the book on this project next summer, we’re out of the Elm Street corridor.”
Knapik said the project was phased to accommodate the use of state Chapter 90 funding from two budget cycles.
“The funding for the water line and sidewalk work was allocated from the current year Chapter 90 funding and held in reserve so that work can start next spring,” he said. “It will take a period of time to complete because of the trenching for the water lines.
“That will (dovetail) into the Chapter 90 funding which becomes available after July 1,(2012) for the regrading, to remove the impediment to truck traffic, and the resurfacing work,” Knapik said.

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