BERLIN – Town officials approved change orders that will allow for the completion of roadwork on West Street.
The Berlin Town Council approved change orders totaling $90,503 for the conclusion of the ongoing work on West Street. Staff said a layer of cement down the center of the street created challenges when it came to the street’s final repaving.
“We think we’ve got a good plan,” said Laura Allen, Berlin’s town administrator.
Berlin officials originally authorized a $335,900 project on West Street in late 2015. The goal was to increase storm drain piping from 18 inches to 30 inches. When contractors started work, however, a number of unexpected utility conflicts were discovered. Numerous water and sewer connections have since been moved or replaced.
Allen said that while the bulk of the work had been complete for some time, the issue of repaving the street had presented challenges. She said that because a broad strip of cement runs down the center of the street, engineers had to determine how best to repave the road to ensure that it remained smooth.
“It was a challenge for EA Engineering and the contractor to come up with an approach for the final paving that would work with the challenges of keeping the asphalt stable,” Allen said.
She said the additional expenditures approved by the council would allow the contractor to apply a base coat, add paving fabric and then pave the street.
“We think this recommendation has the highest chance for long-term life expectancy of the road and should result in a nice finished final project,” she said. “It will be nice and smooth for a long period of time.”
Darl Kolar of EA Engineering agreed that the proposal presented by Allen was the best option for the town.
“It’s a similar approach to what was provided on Jefferson Street,” Kolar said. “This is the most economical and best approach.”
He said contractors would be busy this week working on the road and that he expected the project to be complete within two to three weeks.
“They’re steadfast on finishing this project,” he said.
Mayor Gee Williams said it was exciting to see the West Street improvements near completion.
“It’s been a key roadway in our town forever,” he said. “Over time it’s going to look as good and be as nice as any street in town.”