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Road widening, sidewalks to cost $572,676

By Chris Paschenko 340-2442

When February bids to widen a Decatur street and build sidewalks from a school to a park came in $188,000 over budget, the city bid the project again and then implemented cost saving measures to reduce the scope of the work.

Now the project is $72,000 over initial estimates, a figure Councilman Ronny Russell said he could live with. The council is scheduled to vote on the matter at its April 16 meeting.

City Engineering Director Mark Petersohn told the City Council on Monday it will cost $572,676 to widen Sandlin Road Southwest to three lanes and extend Fifth Avenue Southwest sidewalks from Brookhaven Middle School to Wilson Morgan Park.

Petersohn said the project was bid a second time using unit prices. The city could also rely on existing contracts for asphalt, paving and striping to save $56,200, which is already reflected in the total cost of the project.

Russell said the original estimate for the project was between $450,000 to $500,000.

"We discussed reducing the sidewalk (width) to five feet," Russell said.

"But I asked him to put it back in and stay with a six-foot sidewalk. It's over the original budget, but there is a built-in contingency to the bond issue and street funds."

The council approved a $16.2 million general warrant to fund infrastructure and capital items last year. It has a fixed interest rate of 4.35 percent.

"Everything Mark has done, he has found a way to reduce costs," Russell said. "Including the Sims Street (Southwest) connector and Beltline Road and Spring Avenue extension."

Petersohn said the project, if approved, would begin May 1. Brooks and Son Construction must complete the contract within 210 days, weather permitting, he said.

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