Council hires firm to replace bridges

The Townsend Avenue Bridge in Johnstown is seen Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council on Monday took further action on replacing two of the city’s deficient bridges, although one project won’t fully begin until 2020.

The council voted at City Hall to hire Contech Engineered Solutions of West Chester, Ohio, with a contract price of $59,385 to replace the Miller Street Bridge. That bridge was previously deficient and was demolished, but the city now wants to replace the empty span with a new bridge.

The area around the former 1930s-era Miller Street bridge over the Cayadutta Creek is currently closed. The span was taken down after it was cited by the state Department of Transportation as a deteriorating structure.

The city previously bid for design work for the project, receiving a low bid in June 2016 of $55,565 submitted by Contech. But Monday night’s resolution increased the contract by $3,820 to $59,385 because of a change regarding the railing system.

“Come hell or high water, that will be done this year,” City Engineer Christopher Vose said of the Miller Street project.

The area where the former Miller Street Bridge in Johnstown once existed is seen Monday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

One of the reasons it is imperative to get it done, he said, was a grant was secured by state Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, R-Newport, for the project. He is retiring at the end of the year, he noted.

The agreement between the city and the state involves a promised $100,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. The Miller Street project is slated to be completed in-house by the city Department of Public Works using a prefabricated bridge. The authority administers capital grant programs on behalf of New York state that support community and economic development.

Vose told the council he received updated shop drawings on the pre-fabricated bridge the city will eventually take possession of.

The council on Monday also voted to advertise for bids for consultants for the Townsend Avenue Bridge replacement project over the Cayadutta Creek. The City Clerk’s Office will be advertising until 11 a.m. April 6 for request for proposals from qualified firms for pre-construction consulting services.

City officials voted in January to pay $1.69 million for the bridge replacement. The city is later expecting federal aid and state Marchiselli Program aid-eligible costs to help pay for the project. Apportionment of funds are 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent non-federal funds.

The 1928-era Townsend Avenue Bridge is also one of the city’s most deficient bridges. DOT has selected it for replacement.

Vose said construction to replace the Townsend Avenue Bridge isn’t scheduled until spring 2020, but the process begins with selecting the consultant.

“We’re a little ways away from that,” the city engineer said. “This is the first step.”