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Bids for Plum paving projects come in lower than expected

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

With warmer temperatures finally arriving, Plum officials are turning their attentions to much-needed road work.

Council members on Tuesday night were expected to consider awarding contracts for paving projects on 19 borough roads, as well as the first phase of a major job on Millers Lane.

The total of the low-bid contracts is about $900,000, Plum manager Michael Thomas said.

Thomas said the low bidder for the flexible-base and tar-and-chip seal-coat paving contracts was Youngblood Paving of Wampum at $328,661.

Councilman Steve “Skip” Taylor, public-works committee chairman, said flexible-base paving is put down on more rural roads that are not heavily traveled and do not have a lot of truck traffic. Taylor said tar-and-chip seal-coat paving is used on smaller roads.

Thomas also said the low bidder on the Superpave asphalt contract was Tresco Paving of Plum at $476,785.

Taylor said Superpave asphalt is used on more heavily traveled roads.

Taylor is happy to see the bid amounts for the road projects were lower than officials had expected.

“Now is the time to strike,” Taylor said. “As they (contractors) get busier, the prices go up.”

The paving projects traditionally begin in the early summer and continue through the fall, Thomas said.

Council was expected to consider awarding a $105,376 contract to A. Liberoni Inc. of Plum for work on Miller's Lane.

“The Millers Lane people have been more than patient,” Taylor said. “They have every right in the world to complain. They have earned their spot on the list.”

Plum officials have said the road needs about $1 million in work.

In addition to some uneven pavement on the entire mile-long stretch, the Plum Borough Municipal Authority dug trenches to install water lines on the upper portion of the road, Councilman Leonard Szarmach has said. The authority paved over the area where the trenches were dug, which created an uneven surface.

Taylor said the upper portion of Millers Lane from Saltsburg Road to Regency Drive is scheduled to be paved.

Thomas said officials initially budgeted about $300,000 for work on Millers Lane but cut that to $285,000 because of salt and overtime costs from the winter weather.

With the low bid at about $105,000, Thomas said, officials might decide to do more work on the road.

Taylor said with all the paving bids coming in lower than expected, the public-works committee will take a second look at road work for the summer.

“I will get together with my committee and determine what other roads to do,” Taylor said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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