FARMINGTON — Selectmen recently approved more money for engineering services for a sidewalk construction project on Routes 2, 4, and 27 and through Hippach Field.

The $27,327.35 includes the services of an inspector to be on site for all the construction. It will be 10 hours a day, five days a week for six weeks as required by the Maine Department of Transportation, Town Manager Richard Davis told the board. 

The amount reflects a change in the scope of work done by Wright-Pierce, engineering consultants, from $21,614.61 for a design plan to a maximum of $48,941.96 to oversee construction bids, administration and inspections.

The town usually has engineers comparing bids and administering these projects, he said.

The project received approval for federal funding through the MDOT in 2014. That funding will pay 80 percent of the estimated $160,000 construction costs. The town’s share of 20 percent will be covered by the sidewalk reserve account.

The project creates a sidewalk on Route 2, also known as the Farmington Falls Road, from Maple Avenue to Routes 4 and 27 and through Hippach Field to Prescott Street. The project started as a citizen initiative to provide safety for pedestrians on the heavily-used highway.

The project was slated to begin this spring but approval from MDOT was late.

Bids on construction will be opened July 17 but many contractors may already be booked over the projected August to October construction period, Davis said.

If bids come in higher than expected, selectmen agreed the project may be held until next spring.

While Public Works Director Phil Hutchins is qualified to do the inspection work, Davis recently found that because it is federal funding, it has to be an inspector approved by the MDOT, such as Wright-Pierce.

The amended contract with Wright-Pierce may also be covered with 80 percent funding as the design plan costs were. If so, the town’s costs could be about $5,000 of the $48,941. Davis is verifying that.

If not, it could put a crimp in the Public Works budget, he said.  The project will likely require most of the sidewalk reserve account. Additional costs would be covered by the budgeted sidewalk account but that means less sidewalk work done elsewhere. 

Initially, “we thought it was a good project. It is still a good project,” Selectman Michael Fogg said.  “The extra money does not make it a bad project.”

“With all you have put into it, I would think you would have to go ahead and get it done before they add more to it,” Selectman Scott Landry said.

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Selectmen have approved more money for a sidewalk construction project. Bids will be opened July 17. 

Selectmen recently more money for an inspector for a sidewalk project on Routes 2, 4, 27. Bids will be opened July 17. 

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