Bidding opens for Somers Ave. rebuild

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City Council Feb. 5 approved bidding for the reconstruction of Somers Avenue. The project is estimated to cost $2.2 million.

The project includes the reconstruction of the six-block stretch of Somers Avenue between East Second Street and East Eighth Street. The roadway is on the resort tax priority list.

A piece of the project calls for installing a sump pump collection system at an estimated cost of about $300,000.

Public Works Director Craig Workman said several residents on the street asked if drainage infrastructure would be provided for individual sump pump connections. He said it became apparent that there are a considerable number of properties with illegally connected sump pumps, which are discharging sump water to a city sanitary sewer system. Following installation, residents will be able to connect and discharge sump water to the roadway storm drainage system.

“They don’t have another avenue to handle the sump water,” Workman said. “This will be the first sump pump collection system in the city. After we install it, we will do inspections to make sure that no one is still illegally connected.”

Workman is also recommending that this type of stormwater collection feature be added to future road projects to reduce inflow to the sanitary sewer system.

Council is expected to approve a contract for the project in April and work is expected to begin in May for the portion of the road between East Seventh and East Eighth Street.

Somers Avenue, in the six-block section, will be closed during construction from June 11 to Aug. 18.

Workman said residents of the street showed a preference to closing the street to parking and through traffic to expedite work.

Residents on both sides of Somers Avenue have alley access, and additional parking for the project will include temporary parking areas at the closed intersections of East Three, East Fifth and East Sixth streets, creating about 60 parking stalls.

Somers will remain much as it is now in terms of alignment, however, some changes in grade to the road will be made to improve drainage. The profile includes a 30-foot roadway — 26 feet of pavement with 4 feet of curb and gutter — to accommodate parking on both sides of the road.

The work will not include replacement of the sidewalk, which the city determined to be in good shape.

The city is also upgrading the corridor to include decorative lighting equiped with LED lights.

A detailed tree inventory of the Somers boulevard also resulted in the recommended removal of about 40 mature green ash trees.

Workman said the city is trying to take a proactive approach on removing trees that have been identified as hazardous or at the end of their life span. Concerns about emerald ash borer infestations were also considered.

The trees will be replaced as part of the project.

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