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City delays start of project

Andy Ouriel • Mar 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Sandusky officials postponed a tentative starting date to revamp the Camp Street underpass.    

Originally slated to start in April and finish by October, the project has been delayed for many reasons.

“The contractor that performed the Hayes Avenue (underpass) project indicated that October was too aggressive,” Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein said. “Typically, this means that they could rush the work, possibly providing lower quality and increasing bid prices because they’d have to work overtime to meet the schedule”

Klein believes the project could start as soon as this summer and ideally finish by May 2015.

City officials previously said the project would start and finish in 2012.

“This is the third (after Columbus and Hayes avenues) and last overpass that needs some dramatic attention,” city commissioner Dick Brady said. “It’s a horrible eyesore, and it looks like a dump over there. Maintaining the infrastructure is important”

Another reason for waiting: original bid prices submitted came in above the estimated $2 million price.

Officials plan to advertise the project once again in hopes more companies will submit bids, ideally underbidding one another to lower the project’s total cost.

Work on the underpass involves bolstering the roadway, retaining walls and storm drainage system.

“The various components of the underpass are in terrible condition and has deteriorated because it is well past its useful life” Klein said. “Therefore, it is very important to improve the portion of the infrastructure owned and maintained by the city”

Not since the 1930s, when the structure debuted, has the underpass received a major upgrade.

Whenever construction does begin, plans call for crews to leave one traffic lane open in each direction.

“It will be narrower than normal though,” Klein said.

By the numbers

•$2 million: Amount pegged for reconstruction of the Camp Street underpass.

•$1.6 million: Amount in federal funds leveraged for this project.

•$400,000: Amount in city funds being directed to this project.

Source: Sandusky engineering department

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