R.T. Vernal gets Salem street paving contract

SALEM — The contract for this year’s street paving project will go to R.T. Vernal, Mayor John Berlin said Monday.

Berlin had just spoken to Jon Vollnogle, the Howells & Baird engineer handling the work, who said he had finished checking the bids and all the math was correct.

R.T. Vernal of North Lima submitted the lowest bid for the project when bids were opened Friday at city hall, agreeing to do the job for $1,236,668. That’s slightly more than the engineer’s estimate of $1,181,500, but both Berlin and city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said they should still be able to do the seven streets and the municipal parking lot that they planned to do.

Both admitted that the hope is always to come below the estimate, but they were happy with the number of bidders.

The other four bidders and their bids included: Chagrin Valley Paving, $1,286,946; Shelly Company Twinsburg, $1,305,594; American Contracting Inc., $1,328,178; and Stateline Paving Inc., $1,340,582.

The scope of work for the project includes: Pennsylvania Avenue from Allen Road to Jennings Avenue; South Madison from East State to Southeast Boulevard; Arch Street from Newgarden Avenue to the deadend; Oak Street from South Madison to Southeast Boulevard; Cleveland Street from Hawley Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue; Buckeye Circle from West 14th Street east to West 14th Street west; Merle Road from Fairview Avenue to the deadend; and the public parking lot along East Pershing and South Lundy Avenue.

“I’m hoping to get started by the first of May,” Kenst said.

Berlin explained that he has $1,320,000 set aside for streets for this summer, with $1.3 million for the paving and another $20,000 to cover any possible change orders for the East Pershing Street concrete repair project left over from last year. He’s hoping there will be enough of a cushion to cover all the construction costs to pave the streets and parking lot. The money will come from the capital improvements fund.

Both he and Kenst said the cost of oil is going up and that’s part of the reason for the bids going higher than the estimate, because the price is expected to keep fluctuating. Oil is a necessary component for asphalt. Kenst also said the cost for the project may have gone higher because two of the streets will involve a mesh placed on the concrete street before asphalt is applied over it. The two streets where that method will be used include Merle and South Madison.

He noted that R.T. Vernal was the contractor when that method was used on North Union Avenue three years ago and the street has held up well.

“We’re confidant the process will work,” he said.

As for the East Pershing Street project from last year, Kenst said he’s hoping the project will start up again by the end of this month. Due to weather delays last fall, the concrete repair project for Pershing had to be delayed until this year. State Street and part of Southeast Boulevard were completed last year.