Map Snafu Adds $7K To Berlin Street Project

BERLIN – Officials learned this week a small section of roadway in the current three-street rehabilitation project was left out of the original plan, forcing engineers to go back to the drawing board for the missing section.

Town Administrator Tony Carson told the Mayor and Council on Monday a closer inspection of the $1.4 million project to rehabilitate Vine Street, Grice Street and Graham Avenue revealed a no man’s land of sort on Vine Street near its intersection with Pitts Street that was not included in the original scope of the plan. Carson said the omission was discovered after town officials physically walked the areas targeted for the major street rehabilitations.

“There is a section of Vine Street off Pitts that was not included,” he said. “It’s not named on any map. We realized it when we went out and walked the site.”

While not terribly long, the omitted section on Vine Street will have to be added to the complex plan for the three streets. However, its addition will not dramatically increase the cost of the estimated $1.4 million street rehabilitation project. Carson told the council leaving it out was not an option and asked them to approve the added expenditure.

“We certainly want to do the whole street,” he said. “We went back and asked Davis, Bowen and Friedel to redo the engineering proposal to add that portion and it came in at around $7,000.”

Much of the funding for the project is included in Berlin’s current budget, but the town is hoping to supplement its share with some state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Berlin officials this week approved an application for CDBG funds for the street projects although the town’s top priority for the grant remains a repair of the spray site lagoon.

Adding sidewalks to the three streets is included in the project and Mayor Gee Williams used the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed plan for Vine Street.

“Vine as it comes off William Street, it makes sense for the sidewalk to be on the right in that area,” he said. “At some point, it has to cross over with crosswalks and continue on the left. The property owner in that area has already agreed with the easement.”

Williams said getting residents on the three streets to cooperate during the construction phase of the long-awaited project would not be an issue.

“I’ve talked to people who live there and they were shocked it was finally going to get done,” he said. “It’s going to be a really nice improvement. They’re grateful over there and it hasn’t even started yet.”

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