Johnstown council approves $424k repaving project

PHOTOGRAPHER:
Jason Subik/The Leader-Herald City of Johnstown Engineer Chris Vose discuses the city’s expanded list of streets set to be repaved this year during Monday night’s Common Council meeting.

By JASON SUBIK

The Leader-Herald

The Johnstown Common Council on Monday voted unanimously to accept a bid from Callanan Industries to resurface 8 city streets for $424,424.

City Engineer Chris Vose said the city is receiving approximately $65,000 in additional Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funding for 2021-22 to offset a 20% cut instituted last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then aid from the federal government bailed out the hole in New York state’s budget, and now the state is doling the CHIPS funding back out to local municipalities.

“We had a little bit more contingency added in than we had thought,” Vose told the council. “So we added South Market, the last block between Potter Road and 4th Avenue. We were going to do that in house, but that needs to be milled down, so for the amount of material it’s going to take we’re just going to have [Callanan Industries] do it. In its place we’re going to do Cloverdale [Avenue] and Brookside [Avenue] instead.

Second Ward Councilwoman Kathi Iannotti asked Vose whether Johnstown has ever worked with Callanan Industries in the past.

“I think the city has had Callanan before, but I’ve never had them personally do a paving street, but I’ve worked with them in the private sector,” Vose said. “They are one of the big ones. I have no worries. This is their bread and butter.”

“Do we know when they’re going to start?” Iannotti asked.

“I don’t know yet. We’ll have a preconstruction meeting once [the resolution approving the bid] goes through,” Vose said. “I’m anticipating early September. That’s probably when you’ll start seeing them do some of the sidewalks. I think once they start they’ll get through it pretty quick.”

Vose said Callanan Industries will repave these eight streets:

• East Main Street — from Route 30A to city line.

• South Market Street — from Madison Avenue to 2nd Avenue.

• South William Street — from Montgomery Street to Madison Avenue.

• Dove Street — from Crescendoe Road to Byard Street.

• Market Street — from 4th Avenue to Potter Road.

• Maple Avenue — the entire street.

• Pleasant Avenue — from Charles Street to Elmwood Avenue.

“East Main is pretty bad, it gets a lot of truck traffic and so does Maple Avenue,” Vose said. “They’re all areas of need, and we’re like everyone else. We have more areas of need than we can actually take care of, so these are the ones who are in the worst area.”

Vose said about 25 percent of the repaving project will go for the creation of Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps in the places that don’t already have them. He said only about half of the city’s streets are currently ADA compliant, but each year the city gets a few more ramps installed.

“We’re making in-roads on it, every year we chip away at them, but we have to do it because the CHIPS money is federal funding, and it’s required,” he said.

Vose said the city of Johnstown receives state and federal funding for street paving projects from three programs: CHIPS, PAVE-NY and Extreme Winter Recovery [EWR] funds.

For 2021-22, Johnstown received $341,597 in regular CHIPS funding for 2021-22, not counting the additional $65,000. He said the city had $166,927 in cumulative rollover unspent CHIPS funding from prior years, which gives the city a combined $573,524 in its CHIPS budget.

The city also received $95,774 in PAVE NY funds which added to $12,771 in PAVE NY funds the city had saved from prior years, bringing those funds to $108,546.

Johnstown has also received $61,872 in EWR funding for 2021-22, which combined with $8,043 in unspent EWR funding from prior years gives the city a total of $69,915 in EWR money.

Vose said he always holds back a portion of the repaving funding from the state and federal government to give the city some flexibility in case additional work needs to be done on the repaving projects and to keep money saved for years when there are cuts, such as last year.

MILLER STREET

BRIDGE PROJECT

Vose said the state places restrictions on the repaving money can be spent, but one acceptable use is to help with the city’s $890,000 project to replace the Miller Street Bridge and replace culverts on North Chase and South Chase streets.

At it’s July 19 meeting the Common Council approved awarding the bid to replace the bridge and culverts to Jablonski Excavating.

Vose said the city has received a $717,457 state “Touring Route” grant, which is normally meant to go towards state routes maintained by the city, such as portions of Route 67 or Route 29.

“We don’t have a huge need with them, because we try to take care of those, so basically we’re using that money to help pay for the Miller Street Bridge construction and the North and South Chase Streets project,” Vose said. “That didn’t cover all it, so the balance ($172,543) is coming from CHIPS.”

Vose said the replacement of the Miller Street Bridge started last week. He said members of the public have been asking about the bridge, which was removed completely several years ago, leaving a gap over the Cayadutta Creek.

“The new bridge is a free engineered structure, and we’re utilizing as much of the existing abutments as we can, should be pretty nice. It’ll be rated for truck traffic, and we’ll be able to use that as a pedestrian traffic route again,” he said.

By Paul Wager