Council approves spending on two projects

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Jun. 9, 2011
Project work on drainage along Day Hill Road will begin down the hill toward the I-91 interchange this summer. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Project work on drainage along Day Hill Road will begin down the hill toward the I-91 interchange this summer. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

The Windsor Town Council approved two major bonded projects at its June 6 meeting, agreeing to spend nearly $2 million on the John F. Kennedy School roof project and the next phase of the Day Hill Road project.

Town Manager Peter Souza said the Council had to approve the additional bonding of $365,000 for the overage in the construction estimate for the John F. Kennedy School roof, which is scheduled to be replaced this summer.

The roof is 22 years old and has gone into disrepair, Souza said.

“It’s one of those things where the roof has outlived its expected life,” he said. “We had made some minor repairs in the past to repair leaks, and now it’s time to fix it as a whole.”

The project and bond were previously approved during the winter by the Town Council, but construction estimates drove the need to get additional funding for the project.

The need for more funds comes at a unique time, when construction bids have come in well below engineer’s estimates because of the struggling economy. Souza said a recent trend has changed that.

“What we have seen in the past 90 to 120 days is a huge raise in project bids that involve any petroleum-based products,” he said.  “Energy prices and oil prices have raised the prices of steel and other products, and that has made our costs skyrocket.”

The additional spending was approved 7-1 by the Council, with Councilor Donald Jepsen casting the dissenting vote.

Souza estimates the work on the roof will begin following the close of school in late June and will be completed by the beginning of the school year in late August.

The other major project moving forward is the third phase of the Day Hill Road project. Councilors approved the spending of $1.535 million to go toward drainage improvements and the resurfacing of five different sections of the road.

Day Hill Road has been undergoing several improvements for the past four years, Souza said. The improvements have become necessary because of the development of the street, which has massively increased traffic accommodations.

Souza said most of the work on Day Hill Road will be on the westbound lane in several different areas between Marshall Phelps Road and Iron Ore Road. In those areas, there will be a lot of resurfacing work.

The drainage improvements will mostly be occurring in the downhill area at the end of the road approaching the interchange to Route 75.  The area also is an outlet to Interstate 91, via exit 38, and is heavily congested with traffic.

Souza said the project may cause minor delays, but the town has worked to make sure the construction will take place during non-peak hours of the day.

“The contractor we are working with right now is going to be starting work around 9 a.m., after the major rush hours have been completed,” said Souza. “They will then wrap up work around 3:30 or 4 p.m. to make room for the afternoon traffic.”

Souza said the third phase was designed by the town engineer’s department to help save money, and the multi-year, multi-million dollar project continues with the support of the Town Council. Day Hill Road is a gateway to several areas in town and is approximately 4 miles long.

The Day Hill Road project has been on the town’s capital planning wish list for six years, with the project beginning approximately four years ago. The borrowing was approved unanimously.


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