By Timothy Cox
MENDON -- The Main Street reconstruction project has run into problems that will increase its cost.
The snag will not delay the project, however, and work still is expected to be finished on time in five weeks.
The town will not take a direct financial hit on the cost overruns because the original contract was $145,000 less than the money set aside to pay for the work. The extra work, however, apparently will dash any hopes village officials had of using the extra cash to add street lighting to the project.
The project originally was estimated to cost $770,000. Shinn Brothers Inc., Celina, was the low bidder on the project at $625,000. A bulk of the cost was covered by a $300,000 grant to assist economically distressed communities and an Ohio Public Works Commission grant.
Workers have found numerous places along the stretch of South Main Street where the street's sub-base is weak. As a result, engineers have asked contractors to cut deeper into the earth, remove the unstable areas and replace them with stone. The situation is not unusual and Fanning/Howey Associates engineer Jared Ebbing had warned village officials the issue could crop up during construction.
"We knew there would at least be some suspect areas, but you never really know for sure until you dig it up," Ebbing said.
Some of the worst sections of the street's sub-base were under the worst sections of pavement, Ebbing said. Even though the street has been repaved many times through the years, the same sections of asphalt collapse and breakdown over the unstable areas of subsoil, he said.
"Thankfully they got a favorable bid because you have to do what's right with the project. You can't ignore it or the same problems will come back," Ebbing said.
The additional materials and labor necessary is expected to take most of the $145,000 difference between the original estimate and the construction contract.
"The possibility of installing decorative lighting all the way through is probably not going to happen," Ebbing said.
Street lights would cost "well in excess of $100,000," Ebbing said.
If there is some money left over, village officials might be able to install some underground conduit to prepare for new street lights someday, he said.