Broadway project a go

SARANAC LAKE – The village has agreed to add more work to a major downtown construction project set to start 12 days from now.

The village Board of Trustees voted Monday to pay Selkirk-based Trinity Construction an additional $95,800 to replace a 300-foot section of sewer line that runs down Broadway from its intersection with Bloomingdale Avenue to Dorsey Street. Trinity was awarded a $209,000 contract earlier this month to replace a sewer line that runs across Broadway from Dorsey Street to the Community Bank parking lot.

The sewer work is just one aspect of a project that village officials have been warning motorists, downtown business owners and local residents about for weeks. The Broadway project also involves replacement of a water main, storm drainage, curbs and sidewalks, and repaving the road.

Scheduled to begin in early April, the work is expected to take 10 weeks. It will happen at night, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday through Thursday, during which time the road will be closed to all traffic. From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the road will be open one-way, from Bloomingdale Avenue to Dorsey Street.

“It will be significant,” village Manager John Sweeney said. “The first few days, the road will be completely closed down, then (Trinity) will do the sewer crossover portion, which is estimated at two weeks. (J.E.) Sheehan, the contractor on the water line, will then be removing the concrete sub-base in the road, and then they’re going to start doing storm lines, water line laterals – it’s going to be a mess.”

The decision to replace the additional sewer infrastructure came at the recommendation of the village’s engineering company, AES Northeast of Plattsburgh. A video inspection of the line found several sections that had sagged and cracked, along with evidence of surcharge and grease problems.

The additional $95,800 was presented as a change order to Trinity’s existing contract; it wasn’t bid separately. Sweeney said the company’s estimate for the additional work was higher than he anticipated, but he said it works out to roughly the same per-foot cost Trinity is charging the village for the contract it was already awarded.

“I don’t think you’re going to get anything less,” he said. “We are not capable of doing it because we don’t have the safety equipment to do it. The bid, if you compared it to others available during the bid process, their number is still the lowest per-foot.”

Trustee Allie Pelletieri asked where the money would come from to pay for the sewer work. Treasurer Paul Ellis said the project would be covered by funding from the state Environmental Facilities Corporation.

Sweeney said he expects the contractors involved in the project will mobilize and move all their equipment into place next week.

“The target date to start digging is April 7th,” he said.

“Do we have a sense of the depth of the ice, or how realistic that (timeline) is?” asked Trustee Paul Van Cott.

“Deep,” Sweeney responded. “It’s not what we we’re hoping for. But if we continue to push back the date, although it may seem like it’s easier, we continue to push toward July 1st. The sooner we can get in, the sooner we can get out.

Van Cott asked if the village is keeping property owners and downtown business owners informed of the project. Trustee Barbara Rice said the Downtown Advisory Board went door to door, visiting with property owners and residents or leaving notices about the construction work. Two public meetings were held on the project in January.

“I think, for the most part, the businesses have all been notified and have contact people they can get in touch with if needed,” Rice said.

Sweeney said the project will be overseen by a construction manager and the village will have a staff member on site while the work is taking place. A construction schedule will be posted on the village’s website along with a link to a webcam that will show the progress of the work, he said.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or