A slate of seven Watertown roads set to be repaved this year will likely have to wait until next spring after bids for the work came in much higher than expected.
Town Manager Michael Driscoll told the Town Council on Tuesday that the bids for the 2019 Watertown street and sidewalk repair project came in and he recommends rejecting them.
“There was only one bid and it was 33 percent higher than expected,” Driscoll said.
The issue was referred to a joint meeting of the Town Council’s Public Works and Budget & Fiscal Oversight subcommittees to decide how to go forward.
Public Works Superintendent Gerry Mee recommended that the bids go out later in the year.
“My recommendation would be to go out to bid in December for a March 1 start,” Mee said.
By waiting until the winter to bid, Mee said, Watertown will hopefully be among the first to advertise work and get multiple bidders.
Driscoll said Watertown would continue the new bid and construction schedule in future years, and he believes it puts the town in a better position.
Currently, Mee said, there is a shortage of companies available to do street and sidewalk work.
“There are not a lot of contractors, three to five, and a couple don’t come down this far, so there are really only three,” Mee said.
Councilor Tony Palomba asked if that means no roads will be repaired this summer and fall. Mee said none of the streets on the 2019 list would be worked on, but other projects are underway, including finishing up work from the 2018 list as well as projects such as the Common Street repaving and renovation.
The roads on repair list, which will be delayed, are:
- Bellevue Road, from Channing Road to Common Street
- Avon Road
- Chandler Street
- Burnham Street
- Bridgham Avenue
- Nichols Avenue, from Dexter Avenue to Boylston Street
- Bartlett Street, including Everett Avenue
The DPW is also looking for longer roadways to repair using $1 million designated for that purpose by the Town Council, Mee said.
“We are putting a bid together and choosing longer streets and connector streets,” Mee said. “We are coordinating with gas, water and sewer work.”