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The Times
  • Little Falls issues $1.75M in bonds for bridge project

  • The Little Falls Common Council on Tuesday evening unanimously approved the issuance of $1.75 million in serial bonds to pay for the replacement of the South Ann Street bridge.

    City Treasurer David Petkovsek said while the project will cost the city an estimated $1.45 million to complete, the additional $300,000 is needed for anticipated change orders and contingencies.

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  • The Little Falls Common Council on Tuesday evening unanimously approved the issuance of $1.75 million in serial bonds to pay for the replacement of the South Ann Street bridge.
    City Treasurer David Petkovsek said while the project will cost the city an estimated $1.45 million to complete, the additional $300,000 is needed for anticipated change orders and contingencies.
    “All projects this size have change orders and contingencies built in, which is why the city is bonding for the additional moneys,” he said, adding the $1.75 million in serial bonds will be issued short-term, with the bonds for the actual cost of the replacement project to be issued long-term.
    Petkovsek said by bonding for $1.75 million for one year, the city will only be responsible for an estimated $18,000 interest payment in 2013. “After the project is complete and the final cost is known, the city will bond for that amount and will begin making payments on that debt in 2014,” he said. “By issuing bonds both short- and long-term, the city will save thousands of dollars next year.”
    Petkovsek added a $250,000 contribution from National Grid will also lower the project’s final cost.
    While First Ward Alderman Jeffrey Gressler voted to support the issuance of the serial bonds, he said he would have liked to have seen the action subjected to a public hearing or public referendum.
    “I’m not a bridge obstructionist, but I do feel it is unfortunate that the public was unable to weigh in on the matter either through a public hearing or a public referendum,” he said. “I would have liked for the public to have had the opportunity to voice their opinions on this and to have joined the debate.”
    Construction on the project began last week and will likely take five months to complete, said Mayor Robert Peters. Glenmont-based New Century Construction is the contractor.
    Peters added when he met with the Canal Place business owners they expressed concern with parking due to the prevalence of construction equipment and supplies.
    “It’s going to be quite a mess for a few months, but when you do construction, you can expect to have issues,” he said. “The business community has come together to assist one another by opening their lots and parking spaces to each other at different times of the day and night, which has been great to see. This project and this bridge, once completed, will be a real positive for Little Falls.”
    Built in 1933, the city-owned South Ann Street bridge has been red-flagged by the state Department of Transportation and is considered to be functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.
    The bridge spans the Mohawk River and remains the primary vehicle and pedestrian route from downtown to Loomis and Moss islands. Plans call for the bridge to replaced with a one-lane, 20-ton bridge with a sidewalk on the upstream side and a bicycle lane on the downstream side.
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