Work on the Middle Street entrance to the city’s new industrial park may not be on time, city officials said.
Though development officials had hoped the $728,000 state project might be done before winter, it’s looking increasingly likely it may not be finished before the April 15 deadline set by the state when it awarded the contract last summer to Brook field-based J. Iapaluccio, Inc.
“It probably won’t be done until mid-May,” Assistant City Engineer Ray Rogozinski told the Bristol Development Authority on Monday.
The project aims to widen the northbound roadway to allow for the addition of a left turn lane into Business Park Drive, which cuts through the new Southeast Bristol Industrial Park.
The spruced-up entry is considered crucial to the industrial park’s success, officials said.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said he’s also taken a look around at the project site and doubts it can be finished on time.
Cockayne said he’s also worried about the sharp drop on the east side of the road where the old curbs have been stripped away but new ones haven’t been installed. He said that winter conditions could easily find drivers slipping off the road.
Rogozinski said the drop is as deep as a foot and a half. He said the contractor plans to put construction barrels alongside the road to try to keep traffic away from the drop.
But, Rogozinski said, when the snow falls and the plows go through, there are likely to be problems. Because it’s a state road, any liability falls on the state, he said, not the city.
Rogozinski said the contractor has said since summer that it would complete the work before winter, but with asphalt plants closing by mid-December, it doesn’t appear possible any longer.
He said he is “very concerned” the work won’t be done on schedule.
The contract includes a $1,200 a day fine for every day the project remains unfinished after April 15, officials said.
Rogozinski said that the contractor is aiming to keep working into December – which is considered winter for construction purposes – but it isn’t clear it will be able to gear up for renewed work before April. That depends on weather, he said.
Mayor Art Ward said he’d like to see the contractor prodded to move faster.
Rogozinski said the city’s engineers are pushing daily, but there’s only so much they can do. The state controls the project, he said, and the contractor knows the terms of the deal it has with the transportation department.
Mickey Goldwasser, a BDA commissioner, said he wants to ensure that nothing happens to shortchange the quality of the work.
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