Everybody knows that the sidewalk near the railroad overpass on Washington Avenue it is terrible shape, and one resident put a big exclamation point on that idea by nailing a cardboard sign to a nearby telephone phone that reads: “Mayor DeBlasio Plese Fix Our Sidewalk!!!”
Borough council had planned to address the issue last Monday by awarding a contract to fix the walkway.
But council expected the project to cost around $47,000.
The actual bids from contractors started at $109,000. The discrepancy is partially because Washington Avenue is a state road, and PennDOT requires any construction to be performed at night. Bridgeville’s estimate was based on daytime work.
“[Night-time work] results in a premium cost,” said borough engineer Joe Sites. “The contractor has [to pay] his guys to work at night… Plus they have to pay somebody to be at the concrete plant to batch out the concrete at night.”
Mayor Pat DeBlasio asked if a less expensive, smaller scale fix was possible to remedy the worst parts of the sidewalk—the below-grade holes that flood in the summer and freeze in the winter.
But council decided to delay any fixes after solicitor Thomas McDermott said that he is talking to the railroad and PennDOT about the situation, and there might be positive news in the next month or so.
“We might have information coming back that allows us to have a more limited scope of work perhaps than we were anticipating,” McDermott said.
For more than a year, Bridgeville has been asking Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway to fix the sidewalk, which lies in the railroad’s right-of-way.
However, Wheeling & Lake Erie cited federal railroad exemptions and said, essentially, that the sidewalk wasn’t their problem.
In June, borough council decided that, in the interest of safety, Bridgeville would just pay for the repairs, then send a bill to the railroad and see what happens. But that plan was based on the $47,000 repair estimate.