Barriere awarded contract for Franklinton street project

Published 1:44 am Sunday, July 1, 2012

In a project to be fully funded through the town’s one-cent sales tax, about 19 miles of streets in Franklinton will be repaved this summer. The Board of Aldermen selected Barriere Construction as the contractor for the street improvement work during its meeting Tuesday night.

Bids were accepted last Friday, town engineer Kiley Bates, of Spangler Engineering, said. Bid specifications were picked up by three contractors and returned by one, Barriere, he said. The company submitted a bid of $1,649,570, which was unanimously accepted by the board.

“Our estimate for this project was $1.7 million, so it did come in under budget,” he said.

About halfway through the project, Bates said, his company will conduct a review and see if funding allows for the paving of additional streets. At $89 per ton, Barriere’s quote for asphalt was $3 per ton cheaper than Bates had estimated.

“That has to do, of course, with the proximity to the town and the amount of tonnage,” he said. “While we have that good price on tonnage, we want to take advantage of it.”

About 6 months ago, the board and Mayor Wayne Fleming began working on a list of the streets that will be paved, he said.

“We’re trying to do all the little short streets downtown, and then we’re moving out into every subdivision in town,” Fleming said. “We’re overlaying the worst streets.”

Fleming hopes to see work begin within the next two weeks. The work is projected to be completed within 90 days, but it could be done more quickly than that, he said.

“We want to try to get as much of it finished as we can before school starts,” he said. “We’ll be moving fast.”

Fleming said he is glad the work will soon be under way and possibly finished before the end of the summer. He also expressed appreciation for the voters’ decision to renew the one-cent sales tax, part of which is dedicated to street improvements.

“I’m real proud that the people supported this one-cent sales tax,” he said. “We’re trying to do the right thing, the thing that they asked us to do.”

In addition to bringing in more sales tax as construction crews work and make purchases in Franklinton, the project will ultimately give the citizens nicer roads to drive on and will help ensure visitors leave with a positive impression of the town, Fleming said.

“When you come into Franklinton that’s your first impression, and we want it to be nice,” he said. “That’s why we try to keep it clean and do as much street work and ditch work as we can.”