The Little Falls Common Council on Tuesday evening deemed it was in the best interest of the city to move forward with the replacement of the South Ann Street bridge.
The council voted 7 - 1 to accept the recommendation of the Little Falls Board of Public Works to accept Glenmont-based New Century Construction’s bid of $1,488,000 to complete the project in accordance with specifications prepared by Albany-based engineering firm WSP SELLS.
In accepting the recommendation, the council also accepted a construction inspection and support proposal for the bridge project in the amount of $69,250 for services in performance of the project.
First Ward Alderman Jeffrey Gressler cast the lone no vote.
“I understand the city is trying to operate within a window of opportunity here, but it seems like that window of opportunity is in conflict with the need for due diligence on the part of the Common Council,” said Gressler, who added he felt the project should be subject to a public hearing. “Personally, I would be interested in hearing what the public has to say in regards to this project.”
“It’s a project we have to do. We all know that,” said Fourth Ward Alderman Richard Congdon. “With the price of steel if we don’t do the project now, we will only hurt the taxpayers more in the future.”
Little Falls City Treasurer David Petkovsek said the total cost for the bridge replacement project would be close to $1.7 million. However, with National Grid agreeing to contribute $250,000 to the cost, he said the amount the city would need to bond for would be near the $1.488 million figure.
While Tuesday’s vote did not authorize Petkovsek to secure bonding for the project, he said the estimated annual payment on a 20-year bond note would be between $150,000 to $160,000. He added he would have an exact payment amount once the bond’s interest rate is locked in.
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.
Plans call for the bridge, which spans the Mohawk River and remains the primary vehicle and pedestrian route from the city’s downtown to Loomis and Moss islands, to be replaced with a one-lane, 20-ton bridge with a sidewalk on the upstream side and a bicycle lane on the downstream side.
Mayor Robert Peters said with the acceptance of the Board of Public Work’s recommendation, New Century Construction would order the steel and begin demolition of the current bridge soon.
“It’s the city’s intent to have this project completed by the end of the year,” he said. “The contractor has been made aware of that intention, as the city does not want this project to continue into the new year or to have work shut down until spring 2013. It must be completed in 2012.”
Page 2 of 2 - Peters added a pedestrian walkway would be provided in the work zone throughout the project.
In other business Tuesday, the Common Council scheduled a public hearing on the proposed rental dwelling registry for July 17 at 6 p.m. in the Common Council chambers at City Hall.