A comprehensive community development project targeting several neighborhoods in the Clinton community will vastly improve the quality of life by improving streets, fire service and water and sewer infrastructure in the area — and that project has taken another important step as the city has now awarded the construction bid.
The city of Clinton requested bids for the Eliza Lane Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project at the end of July. A total of 11 bids were received for the project, with T&H Construction of North Carolina Inc. of Hampstead receiving the nod from city managerial staff as the lowest bid. City Council concurred unanimously during its recent regular meeting.
The Council approved T&H Construction’s low bid in the amount of $625,600.35. The bids ranged from T&H’s low bid to a high base bid of approximately $1.04 million.
T&H performed the work on the city’s recently-completed Pugh Road CDBG project and did a good job, city public works director Jeff Vreugdenhil said. “We would like to recommend them as their low bidder,” he noted.
Consulting firm Withers & Ravenel echoed that recommendation. The bid was awarded by Council in a matter of moments, with no discussion.
In his recommendation, Michael C. Wicker, project manager for Withers & Ravenel, detailed the previous positive working relationship between the company and the city, as well as the positive references given by other towns regarding T&H.
“T&H was recently awarded the Pugh Road Water and Sewer Improvements project completed this year,” Wicker stated. “The Pugh Road project was a CDBG project, as is the Eliza Lane project, so they are familiar with the CDBG requirements. Although T&H did employ a subcontractor to do much of the work on the Pugh Road project, they were found to be very professional and willing to work with us on resolving issues.”
The Eliza Lane project encompasses not only its namesake, but also Abron and Jerome streets. It will include 2,070 linear feet of water lines, 1,570 linear feet of sewer lines and nearly a half mile of street paving, positively impacting more than 20 homes. As part of the project, pavement will be placed on three dirt roads and bring much-needed water and sewer services to an area that is in dire need of attention, city officials said.
The total project is $790,550 and will include new water and sewer lines in the neighborhood, fire hydrants and paving Eliza Lane, Abron Street and Jerome Street, which are all currently dirt roads. The area, located immediately adjacent the city limits, consists of 22 residences that do not have city water or sewer services. The streets, as their dirt status would suggest, are in “extremely bad condition,” city officials said. Some are impassable after a heavy rain.
The CDBG project at Eliza Lane comes in the wake of similar projects on Russell Street and Pugh Road in recent years.
The city began installing water and sewer lines and renovating homes along Russell Street with $850,000 in CDBG funding in 2008. As that project came to a successful completion in 2010, the city received funding for two more CDBG projects along Pugh Road, adjacent to Russell Street. Those two projects combined to install water and sewer along Pugh Road, renovate four homes and rebuild two more.
While both of those projects ended earlier this year, the work will continue along Eliza Lane, located off U.S. 701, with the city having another CDBG grant in hand for $572,765. That grant requires a city match of $217,785, which the city has split between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 budgets, setting aside $109,000 in each.
City manager John Connet has called the Eliza Lane project “an excellent community development project,” saying it will allow the city to annex the area and grow to the northeast. Mayor Lew Starling has touted the CDBG funding as vital to the city making needed neighborhood improvements. He said such projects display the city’s commitment to improving the quality of life for its citizens.
The towns of Chadbourn and White Lake each provided positive references regarding T&H Construction’s involvement in water and sewer line installation and replacement projects. That, coupled with the city’s previous work with T&H, resulted in the Council’s go-ahead.
“W&R recommends the city of Clinton award the Eliza Lane Infrastructure Improvements project contract to T&H Construction of North Carolina in the amount of $625,600.35 based on review of the bidding documents, the contractor’s experience and references from individuals familiar with their work,” Wicker stated.
With nearly $2 million in CDBG funding received in recent years to improve Russell Street, Pugh Road and the surrounding area, more than 30 households have received water and sewer upgrades or installation, fire hydrant installation, street paving, home renovations or home construction. That number will continue to grow with the Eliza Lane endeavor.
“The project is basically putting water and sewer in and paving streets in an area that is need of improvements,” planning director Mary Rose said recently. “It’s going to be a great thing for that particular area.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.