Adams might re-bid Park Street renovation job


ADAMS -- After receiving only two pricey bids on its Park Street redesign project, the town may put out another request for proposals.

The town is considering rebidding the estimated $710,000 renovation to its main corridor, according to Town Administrator Jonathan Butler. It could set the project's four-month timeframe back a few weeks.

The renovation will be funded at about 90 percent by a Community Development Block Grant awarded to the town in 2013. In what will be the first major facelift to the street in 25 years, Park Street will get new roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks as part of a beautification effort. The work will also include drainage improvements and a new fire hydrant.

Butler said the price of the bids, though over original estimates, was probably manageable. But when using state funds, he said, the town typically looks to attract at least three bidders.

"Our larger concern is the lack of competitive bids," Butler said. Why few bid is unclear, said Butler, who guessed it might have just been "a bad week."

Pittsfield-based Maxymillian offered a $842,053 bid, which was bested by a submission of $818,640 by Jack Goncalves and Sons, which is based in Ludlow.

Community Development Director Donna Cesan said it is difficult to explain why the bids came in above the $710,000 work estimate. The town's engineer on the project, David Loring of Tighe and Bond, said the firm has seen several bids on other projects in the area also come in higher than excepted recently.

The request would not be altered significantly if the project is put out to bid once more, according to Butler.

The rebidding of the project does not require the Selectmen's approval, according to Cesan, but the board will be kept informed of the situation.

The redesign includes significant alterations to the crosswalks between the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail intersection and the Adams Memorial Library.

Crosswalks will be stamped into a brick pattern, and the abutting sidewalks will reach into the shoulder of the road to "provide a refuge for pedestrians," Cesan said. The landing zone will also make pedestrians more visible to oncoming traffic. During the public hearing process for the project, Cesan said, Park Street crosswalks were a frequent complaint.

The town is aiming to make the construction as minimally invasive as possible, and one lane is expected to remain open to traffic at all times.

"We want people to see that our businesses are open," Cesan said. "There is going to be disruption, but we want to make it as minimal as possible."

The town plans to hold introductory meetings between the contractor, once one is selected, and business owners. These meetings will provide owners an opportunity to express concerns about potential impact of the project on their businesses, Cesan said.


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