Cost climbs for Clarendon Street bridge in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Construction was supposed to start this fall for the Clarendon Street bridge in the village of Albion but escalating costs make that time frame uncertain.

ALBION – A project that has been a decade in the making seemed to be in the home stretch, but now the fate of Clarendon Street bridge in Albion faces uncertainty.

The costs for the project are up by about $500,000 more than what was expected. The federal and state governments were slated to pay 95 percent of the costs with the village picking up the remaining 5 percent.

However, the Genesee Transportation Council last week declined to make more state and federal money available for the project. The village would have to bear the full costs for expenses over the budget.

Mayor Dean London said he will appeal to the GTC and state officials, to increase the money for the project.

“We’ll be making some phone calls,”  London said tonight after a meeting at the Village Hall with state Department of Transportation officials and Bergmann Associates, the design firm hired for the project.

Construction estimates are up by $323,000, while design and right-of-way costs are up $147,000 from the budget. Construction inspection costs are also $80,000 over the budget because two inspectors are now required rather than one.

Clarendon Street can be heavily trafficked, especially during in the morning when school starts and in the afternoon when it lets out.

The project for a new bridge is in its final design phase. That part should be complete this summer. Construction was planned to start for this fall. Steve Beauvais, the local project liaison for the DOT, said the federal government hasn’t increased infrastructure money in the past two years. The Feds pay 80 percent of the project with the state paying 15 percent.

Albion was expecting $200,000 to be its share in a worst-case scenario. But now it could be $775,000. London said the village could borrow $570,000 of the increase and pay it back over 20 years. That would add another $60,000 to $70,000 on village taxpayers annually, he said.

The new bridge will replace one that is about 40 years old. It goes over the railroad tracks. The project was pegged at about $2 million.

The current bridge has “heavily deteriorated” beams, spalling concrete and other problems, Kevin Miller, an engineer with Bergmann, said at a meeting last year.

The DOT wants to replace the bridge with a smaller precast concrete structure that will improve sight lines and offer wider travel lanes, shoulders and sidewalks. The new bridge will have longer approaches.

The bridge is unusual for being in a village inventory, Beauvais said. Typically a longer bridge like that would be owned by a county, he said. Village officials have reached out to the county for help with the project, but so far have been turned down.