By Karen Cornelius
Due to the Fourth of July holiday, Vermilion City Council met on Wednesday, July 5, to award three different contracts to move the Highbridge Road Bridge Replacement Project forward. Constructing a new bridge over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks has been a long time coming, almost 30 years since the original bridge was taken down for safety reasons.
City engineer Lynn Miggins told council members there were three ordinances on the agenda that night relating to the bridge which had to be adopted by emergency that night to meet the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) deadline of July 7. She said the first awards the construction contract to Mosser Construction, Inc. of Fremont, Ohio for $1,926,579.78. ODOT will pay $1,380,322.40 for this project.
The second ordinance to adopt will award a contract to K.E. McCartney & Associates, Inc. of Mansfield, Ohio for the construction, administration, and construction inspection portion of the project. Miggins said they were selected under a qualifications based selection process which they were determinded from a field of five consultants to be the most highly qualified firm to do the work. She said their estimated fee is based on hourly rates at $173,443 which will be paid 100 percent by the city of Vermilion.
The city engineer explained the third ordinance related to the bridge is an agreement to pay Norfolk Southern Railway Company for any and all expenses they incur while the bridge is being built. She said the railroad will have flaggers and their own construction crew to make sure the work doesn’t disturb their rail traffic. The railroad’s estimate is $324,597. Miggins stated that ODOT will pay 80 percent of this fee or a maximum of $259,677.60. She said the city would be shocked if the amount ends up being this much, so K.E. McCartney will be watching them very closely. Miggins said if any of this money is not spent on railroad reimbursement then the city gets to use it towards construction reimbursement.
According to the city engineer, construction could possibly start this October with the bridge completion by September of 2018. She stated that there is a certain period of time you have to wait before trees can be cut down due to some identified endangered species such as the Indiana Bat and a warbler-type bird.
During the reading of the ordinances, council members suspended the rules on all the first readings and voted to adopt them by emergency at 6-0 with councilwoman Barb Brady absent. Council president Steve Herron commented that this will be a good project for the city because it makes emergency response time a lot quicker for the fire and police departments. It will also cut down on the time for medical emergencies to several housing developments.
In other business at city council on July 5, members suspended the rules on three ordinances to rollover the city’s outstanding notes for the purpose of paying the costs of improving streets and roads. The first note was for $775,000; the second for $1,485,000; and the third was for $358,000 for the Elberta Road Drainage Project. All the rollovers were adopted by emergency. There was also a second reading to direct the board of elections to place a parks levy on the ballot in November for one-mill for maintenance and operations. Another second reading amended the 2017 budget.
Additionally of note was service director Tony Valerius’ report on Hart Asphalt patching and repaving Sunnyside Road, and Americut finishing the grinding of Southview Court to improve driving the street. He said Crossroads Paving patched the bad section of Edgewater and cracked sealed the centerline. Three speed limit signs were installed on Portage Drive to remind drivers to slow down at 25 mph.
The damage on Elberta Road possibly due to heavy loaded trucks was further noted by the service director who did call the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to determine if a permit was issued to a resident to have five breakwalls installed which caused the trucks to deliver the stone. Valerius said ODNR was not aware of this resident’s project and would pursue it. The city’s law director will also look into it as far as paying for fixing the road. However, the city has no load limit signs posted on Elberta. Hart Asphalt will fix a section of Elberta that has heaved.