Bids higher than expected for Waynesboro stormwater project

September 21, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Bids for the next phases of an ongoing stormwater project in the Borough of Waynesboro came in "considerably higher than what we anticipated," the borough's engineer said Wednesday.

The municipality received a $5 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, commonly called PennVEST.

"If we were to accept the bids as they are now ... we would need $2.78 million more," Borough Engineer Kevin Grubbs said.

Grubbs addressed phases 2 and 3 of the stormwater project with the Waynesboro Borough Council at the board's Wednesday meeting. The majority of work in those phases will address flooding along South Potomac Street.

The first portions of the project — replacement of a Cemetery Avenue outfall and Center Square inlets — are costing the borough about $1 million, an amount that was close to estimates.

The timing of bids and amount of advertisement might have contributed to bid amounts being higher than expected, Grubbs said.

"Many contractors have their slates full with projects they're working on," he said.

If PennVEST approves a time extension, it would be better to bid the project after Jan. 1 and reach out to more contractors in the Harrisburg, Pa., area, Grubbs said.

"We're working on it," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said of asking PennVEST for an extension.

Heavy and fast rains cause problems in the town's aging stormwater system as well as flooding in the South End. Recent storms lifted mats in the Cemetery Avenue outfall and caused flooding along South Potomac Street.

Councilman Ronnie Martin said he talked to a few contractors about phases 2 and 3.

"It's really disappointing," he said. "They said their plate was full."

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