City to start its paving effort

Better driving conditions in Dunkirk are coming, at least to some streets.

Common Council approved the hiring Tuesday of H. Olsen & Sons to do the work. The Forestville-based company will provide cold milling to .75 miles of streets along with three miles of new pavement.

Council had questions before the vote, including one from new Councilman-at-Large Wilfred Rosas, who wanted to know if there was only one bid. Councilwoman Stacy Szukala wanted to know how confident Department of Public Works Director Tony Gugino was with the schedule while Councilman Adelino Gonzalez said he was hoping to get a lot of streets done, “before the snow comes down.”

Gugino replied that there was only one bid and he was only counting on state funding through the CHIPS program before explaining why there was only one bid. Gugino explained the bidding was done late and things were held up while the city sought clarification from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development on the use of Community Development Block Grant funds for paving.

“In my mind it’s late in the calendar year to go bid the streets, but most of the contractors that do street paving are already very well busy. The weather was terrible this year so everybody’s already scrambling to hopefully get their work done,” Gugino stated. “So we got one bid, … we were lucky we got the one.”

Councilman William J. Rivera said residents had been waiting to see the work get done and wanted to know what kind of work the city was looking at getting done.

“There are going to be six blocks, six different streets of varying lengths, … that are going to be milled down one and a half inches deep and those same streets will be topped with one inch of new blacktop,” Gugino replied. “The other streets that were done with the hot-in-place program, again very late last year, they are going to be topcoated with the proper application of blacktop. That list represents approximately 25 streets that will be getting a topcoat of new blacktop.”

“Cumulatively, between this project and all the other projects going in the city, state DOT projects on (Routes) 5 and 60, Millennium Parkway, for all its problems, challenges, …. I’ve never seen this much work done in the city ever. Normally we only get about $270-280,000 in CHIPS spending, … this is a monumental amount of work being done in the city of Dunkirk’s borders and not to mention we had our own patching crews out patching all over the city.”

Gugino said the patching was done with $40,000 in city funds appropriated for the repair and improve streets budget line.

“This is a huge effort after a tragically bad winter, so I think we’re all thrilled,” he added.

Rivera replied that people have been waiting for paving and, “here it is.”

Milling is scheduled to be done on Washington Avenue from Fifth to Seventh streets; Park Avenue from Third to Second streets; South Ermine Street; North Beagle Street from Pine Street to Lake Front Boulevard; Robin and Deer streets from Second to Route 5.

In addition to the streets to be milled, paving is scheduled for Pine Street from Wright to Rabbit streets and Cedar Street west of Ounce Street.

The sections of the following streets that were begun last year will now receive a hot-in-place paving treatment: Pelican, Brooks, West Chestnut, Swan, Eagle, Columbus, Main, Lincoln, Maple, Nevins, Tenney, Benton and Bucknor. The Washington Avenue paving is scheduled to be 1.5 inches thick.

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