City will open bids for summer streets program

SALEM — City officials will open bids at 11 a.m. June 5 for this year’s summer streets program, this time focusing on concrete street repairs on sections of State Street, Pershing Street and Southeast Boulevard.

City council granted permission earlier this past week for city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst to advertise for bids for the project. A legal notice was published this past Friday in the Salem News and will be published again this coming Friday, detailing what prospective contractors need to do to secure specifications and submit proposals.

During the recent council meeting, there was a question raised because the wording on the ordinance said street paving, with one councilman questioning whether this was the concrete repair project. Kenst explained that this was indeed the concrete project and they would be awarding one contract.

Mayor John Berlin and Kenst had both said last fall that their intention was to focus on the concrete streets this time and pick up the asphalt paving again next year. Kenst said he’s hoping to have four to six contractors submit bids.

The project will be funded through a combination of capital improvement money and the additional .25 percent income tax, which can only be used for street, alley, curb, gutter, storm sewer and sidewalk improvements.

According to the legal notice, the contractor will be given 150 days to complete the work from the date of receiving the notice to proceed.

An estimated $2.25 million has been set aside for the project, dependent on how the bids end up. Howells & Baird was selected as the engineering firm last month at a cost of $171,000 which included the fee the firm charged for figuring up an opinion of probable cost.

The study by engineer Jon Vollnogle of Howells and Baird Inc. of Salem estimated the total probable cost for East State Street from Lincoln Avenue to the hospital in the 1900 block was $869,906. For East Pershing Street from Ohio Avenue to Southeast Boulevard, the estimate was $941,371, and the estimate for Southeast Boulevard from Ridgewood Drive to East Pershing Street was $394,182. The total for all three was $2,205,460.

The work will include cutting out sections of concrete and replacing those sections with new concrete. An effort will be made to keep State Street open while working on Pershing and vice versa since they’ll be used as alternative routes by motorists sections of each street are closed.