Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

December 5, 2013

Souza questions downtown, Northwest Connector

Downtown bids to be opened Dec. 18

CROSSVILLE — The Crossville City Council will have a better idea of what the downtown project will cost Dec. 18 when bids on the infrastructure improvement and beautification project are opened. However, one councilman is concerned on moving forward with the project and the Northwest Connector road project due to the costs of the projects.

Councilman Pete Souza said, "I have a problem with all these major projects coming at one time."

"The Northwest Connector wasn't considered before. We've got millions of dollars at the same time. Until such a time as I know where that's going, I'm not necessarily for this [downtown] any more," Souza said.

Currently under construction by the Tennessee Department of Transportation is section one of the three section road artery to the north and west of Crossville. When completed, the full three sections would stretch from Sparta Hwy. at Tennessee Ave. across Hwy. 70 to Northside Drive and then across Hwy. 127 N. along Interstate Dr. to Genesis Rd. The city previously signed an agreement with TDOT, agreeing to pay for engineering and right of way acquisition and TDOT funding the road construction. The city's agreement with TDOT shares costs of the project at approximately 80-20 percent. The city needs to pay for engineering and acquire right of way for section two, while right of way acquisition and utility relocation is required for section three.

City Manager David Rutherford said, "You've been sitting on projects for a while and now they're all coming to a head."

Souza suggested putting off the Northwest Connector for two years, until after the downtown project was completed. Councilman Danny Wyatt said that, if they waited on the road project, TDOT would not offer such a generous cost-sharing arrangement. The best communities were able to get at this time was a 50-50 split of road construction costs. Rutherford warned a 50-50 split might be overly optimistic.

Souza said, "Before, I fought for this project [downtown]. I fought harder out of the stall than anybody. But then I got blindsided by this other thing at the same time. It's like everything is on the Black Friday sale and we want to buy it all at the same time. Can the city afford it?"

The city has invested $1 million into the downtown project already, and the total project is estimated at $10.2 million, including construction, contingency, administration and other costs. But the city has secured grant funding totaling about $4.2 million. Downtown Crossville, Inc., has committed to raising $500,000 for the project, though those funds are not yet raised.

Other funding for the project includes $1 million from Economic Development Administration; $1.06 million from the Transportation Enhancement Program; $567,000 state revolving fund; $317,380 from Appalachian Regional Commission; $584,000 in TDOT Surface Transportation Program funds; and $210,000 in TDOT paving funds.

The council had previously discussed holding a referendum on the project, but waiting to hold a referendum would mean the city would lose out on about $2.5 million in grant funding.

Wyatt asked Rutherford to prepare cost projections on both the downtown project and Northwest Connector and possible tax revenues that would be needed. Rutherford said he didn't know if it was necessary to discuss possible tax increases because he believed significant savings could be found in several operations areas of the city government, something he intended to discuss with the council during budget discussions next spring.

"There are things we need to look at," Rutherford said.

But when it comes to the downtown project, time is not a luxury the council has. Bids will be opened Dec. 18 and construction should start in February.

"The bid opening will answer a lot of questions," Rutherford said.

There were seven general contractors in attendance at a mandatory pre-bid conference Monday. Those were Southern Constructors, Rogers Group, Highways Inc.; Sain Construction, Thomas Brothers, McKinnon Construction and Environmental Safety and Health, Inc. Only those attending the session will be able to bid on the project as a general contractor. Others in attendance included interested subcontractors.

Contractors questioned project managers from EG&G Consultants about coordinating timing of paving of the roadway and other concerns.

The project also includes stamped concrete crosswalks. These may be poured prior to final paving of the roadway, which will be done by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Contractors were concerned if they poured those crosswalks prior to the paving, if they would be responsible if there was damage.

There were also questions of rerouting traffic during the construction process, especially truck traffic, and the contractor's responsibility for maintaining accessibility to the area.

"We want to keep as many trucks off Main St. as possible," said Rutherford. He noted that, during the construction stage, many would use the alternate route of Miller Ave., as it would likely be quickest. Afterward, the city would need to consider better signage to make the alternate route.

"The contractor has to maintain one lane of traffic at all times," said Paul Roszak, project manager with EG&G.

James Golias II, project manager with EG&G, added contractors were told they would not be allowed to move from one section of construction to another until work was substantially complete.

"We made it clear they can't shut down Main St.," Golias said.

There will also be an on-site inspector whenever construction work is going on. The budget includes 40 hours per week to pay that engineer, but should the contractor want to work beyond 40 hours a week, they are responsible for the extra cost.

Souza noted it was important that the inspector be responsible to EG&G, as the company will be contracting with a local company for that service, but he was also concerned about the amount budgeted for inspections and construction administration.

"I'm not comfortable with a floating fee," he said.

Golias explained the fee was an hour fee, and the budgeted number was an estimate. But the total amount could change depending on how smoothly construction progressed. However, the company would itemize how much was billed for inspection services on invoices and the funds would be monitored closely.

Councilmen questioned the contingency funds budgeted and possible change orders. Wyatt questioned the possibility of contaminated soil and underground storage tanks that might be discovered during the construction process.

"On a project like this, you're going to run into something," said Golias. "We've built in money for that, and we hope that it's more than enough."

Golias also noted most of the work was shallow digging, with deeper trenches for underground utilities.

"We're trying to plan as best we can, but until the shovel is in the ground, you just don't know," he said. "I feel good about where we are."

There was also preliminary soil testing done, and none of the samples showed signs of contamination.

"We're trying to keep the budget as tight as possible," Golias said.

Bids will be opened at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at Crossville City Hall.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Hwy. 70 crash.jpg CCHS student dies in car crash

    Crossville Police have identified the victim of a two-vehicle collision that occurred Tuesday morning on Hwy. 70 W at the intersection of Dillon St. as a sophomore at Cumberland County High School.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_0783.JPG Visitors center now open to the public

    A ten-year effort to establish a gateway to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, as well as to point tourists and visitors to the many other area parks, historical sites and points of interest, concluded Thursday as the community gathered with officials from the city of Crossville, Cumberland County, the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce and the National Park Service to dedicate the Crossville-Cumberland County: Gateway to the Big South Fork Visitors Center on River Otter Dr.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shots fired during standoff over domestic situation

    Chickens were killed, threats of bodily harm made and at least three shots fired in the presence of a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy during a domestic dispute between an uncle and nephew.

    April 22, 2014

  • Jury selection set in Batty slaying

    Jury selections were scheduled to begin today in the trial of John Russell Giles of Hampshire Lane, Fairfield Glade, charged in connection with the Nov. 7 death of Kimberly Ann Batty, 58, of Dovenshire Dr., also Fairfield Glade.

    April 22, 2014

  • Thoughts for this holy time of Easter

    The first performance of George Friderick Handel's masterpiece, "Messiah," was given in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, where it was well received. When it was performed in England there were criticisms of the music, performers and location of the performance. It was held that the subject matter was too exalted to perform in an opera house, but rather it should be performed in church. Wouldn't it be interesting if we knew how many times this magnificent music has been performed in the past 272 years?

    April 22, 2014

  • Joe Goodwin.JPG Warden Joe Goodwin remains a true original

    The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency celebrates its 65th anniversary this year, and Crossville's Joe Goodwin is part of that living history.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fleeing shoplifter causes $30,000 in damage

    A Morgan County man fleeing from the scene of a $4.99 shoplifting incident allegedly backed his vehicle into a light pole, destroying a solar power system and causing nearly $30,000 in damage.

    April 21, 2014

  • Policy looks at e-cig use

    A new nicotine delivery method has the Cumberland County Board of Education looking at changes to its tobacco-free schools policy to ensure a loop-hole doesn't exist.

    April 21, 2014

  • rendezvous.jpg TSRA starts spring off with paddling trips

    About 150 members of the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) recently gathered April 2-6 in Crossville at Camp Nakanawa for the Annual TWRA Rendezvous.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Panel recommends using third-party billing for old EMS bills

    The budget committee approved hiring the same third party billing company to help go through older EMS ambulance service bills to resubmit them to help the EMS department get caught up with billing collections.

    April 19, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice