O'Hara, Aspinwall, Fox Chapel, Sharpsburg join forces to save on street paving costs

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Aspinwall Manager Melissa Lang is aiming to get more bang for the borough's road budget buck by joining three neighboring municipalities to bid the work.

Aspinwall, Fox Chapel, Sharpsburg and O'Hara will collectively seek bids for each of the municipality's summer paving projects.

“By joining efforts, we're hoping we can get more work done for the money we budgeted,” Lang said.

It is the first year that Aspinwall will join the others, which have bid jointly before.

“It really works out well for us,” O'Hara Engineer Chuck Steinert said.

O'Hara Council last week voted to move forward with the joint bids for its summer work that includes the milling and resurfacing of five township roads. They are South and North Collinwood, and Camden, Bradberry and Marberry drives.

Steinert said Highmeadow Drive, Fairview Avenue and Meadow Park Lane will be alternates.

Fox Chapel Manager Gary Koehler has said that a significant portion of road work costs stem from moving equipment into the area. Contractors can shave money from each of the bids if they land four jobs in consecutive neighborhoods.

The savings are passed on to taxpayers since the municipality can schedule more work or sock the extra money back into the budget.

“With Aspinwall coming in this year, we expect to save more money,” O'Hara Township Manager Julie Jakubec said.

In total, the four communities are expected to award more than $1.2 million in road paving contracts.

Fox Chapel Finance Director Joy Hardt said the borough's road budget is about $750,000. The primary focus for work this year will be repaving sections of Old Mill Road, from Squaw Run to Riding Meadow dog park, and then from Fairview to Fox Chapel roads.

“We plan on getting a much better bid this way so we can do more work or save money,” Hardt said.

In Aspinwall, Lang is hoping the collective agreement helps stretch the borough's smaller road budget of $50,000.

A water main break along Field Avenue has made repaving there a priority this year but Lang is aiming to still complete other roads with money saved through the joint bidding. The list includes Alley D from Field to Center avenues, Locust Street from 9th to the street end and Emerson from Freeport Road to Loop Street.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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