At a recent meeting, Milford City Council approved two requests from City Engineer James Puddicombe that will bring upgrades to the Walnut Street bridge in downtown Milford to fruition. Council awarded a construction oversight contract to Greenway-Pederson, Inc. as well as the bid for construction to Mumford and Miller Concrete.
“Greenman-Pederson has a local office for their engineering firm here locally, which is under a state contract with DelDOT to provide structural engineering services and oversight for bridge repair programs that the DelDOT does. We requested their assistance because part of the Walnut Street Bridge Project includes some structural work. We just don’t have that ability in house,” Puddicombe said. “So, what we did is request a quote from them. We looked at the numbers, their construction oversight was similar to the costs that we currently pay through KCI for some of our construction oversight for residential developments and things. So costing is similar to what we currently pay. So we received that proposal about two weeks ago from them and reviewed their current agreement with DelDOT for bridge design services.”
Puddicombe continued, explaining that Greenway-Pederson would perform any structural repairs to the bridge that would be necessary as part of the project. The project includes raising the bridge slightly in an effort to slow traffic, adding ADA compliant features to make it easier for those with mobility issues to access the Riverwalk on both sides of the river as well as some aesthetic upgrades that will beautify the center of downtown.
“The goal is to try to limit any expansion of time. There’s 45 day window for the work, and we really don’t want to go outside of that window,” Puddicombe said. “The total cost of the project is slated to take seven weeks. We included an additional week in there just to be safe for some extra time on the front and back end because we don’t want to have to come back to council and get that additional approval. Like I said, we’re we want to make sure that everything is good to go, and the project kicks off because it’s on a tight 45 day timeline.”
The cost for the construction oversight portion of the project is $48,702.98, with funding coming from Realty Transfer Tax reserves. Councilman Mike Boyle asked what the anticipated start date would be for the project and Puddicombe stated March 11. The date was chosen as the project would be sandwiched in between downtown festivals.
“I think after most of the construction, it’s done downtown. But before I believe it was the Bug and Bud Festival, which is I think, April and so we’re trying to squeeze in that 45 day period there. There’s a detour plan. But it would include closing essentially that section of Walnut Street because they’re going to have to essentially take the top couple of inches of the bridge off and then lift the whole bridge up essentially. Well, not lift it but pour a whole new section on top of that,” Puddicombe said. “Structural repairs are required for the girders or steel support. And so, they’re not necessarily doing structural repairs but because of the work and how it’s being done, they’re going to take a thin layer of the structure off of the bridge. And the work we’re doing on top is going to be basically integrated with the structure of the bridge. So, they’re going to do rebar and concrete. That’s basically being integrated as part of the structure the bridge. So, the work is structural work. It should kind of be thin up the bridge because he couldn’t just put the concrete on top because the structure wouldn’t be able to handle it.”
Mayor Archie Campbell asked if the request could be rounded up to $48,702.98 and the motion was to award Greenman-Pederson the contract for $48,703. The motion passed by a vote of 7 to 0 as Councilwoman Katrina Wilson was not in attendance at the meeting.
“Next, this is the bid award for the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge project as well. The city worked in conjunction with DelDOT and Greenman-Pederson incorporated to get design work done for bridge number 2502, which you guys probably know better as the Walnut Street Bridge,” Puddicombe said. “This is the bridge right downtown, located right over top of the Mispillion river right near where the ice cream shop is there. This bridge is to be lifted.”
Puddicombe explained that the city received two to sealed bids, although there were three companies who received a set of plans. The two bids were from Eastern Highway Specialist whose bid was $528,566 and Mumford and Miller whose bid was $467,919. Currently, Mumford and Miller are working on the TAP project in the downtown area.
“Both bids were found to be complete and accurate and within the range of expected when compared to previous city projects,” Puddicombe said. “We would recommend that given that both bids were total and complete and both companies having a good reputation in this type of work, the contract be awarded to Mumford and Miller Concrete in the amount of $467,919 as they are the apparent low bidder. We would also include an allowance for contingencies not to exceed $17,750.”
Funding for the project would be covered by $400,000 allotted in the 2023 bond bill with the remaining $133,547 funded through Realty Transfer Tax reserves. Council approved the request with a vote to 7-0.
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