Water main replacement project going well

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BRATTLEBORO — The water main replacement project on Main Street is moving along, visible to anyone passing through downtown.

"It's going pretty good," Steve Barrett, director of public works, told the Select Board Tuesday. "We've had a few things, communication situations."

Water had to be shut off in one section after a new valve was installed and a couple of residents did not receive notification, he said.

"So we're trying to improve on that," he said, urging people who want press releases to reach out and get on his department's list.

Barrett reported success in a connection of pipes earlier that day.

Board member Tim Wessel asked whether the lights would stay flashing on High Street as it could be difficult to turn onto Main Street.

"We're asking for all due courtesy and we've seen a lot of that out there today," said Barrett.

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Town Manager Peter Elwell said only one bid came in for the project and it was "thoroughly vetted" by Dufresne Engineering, which made the design plans. The Select Board ratified the $178,143 contract with Zaluzny Construction of Vernon.

It had been signed by Elwell with the understanding that the board would ratify the contract at its next meeting. The town wanted to get the project moving with Strolling of the Heifers coming in June then school vacations and an influx of summer visitors.

Zaluzny "is well versed working with the town and in that part of town," Elwell said, as the group upgraded sidewalks, curbs and lighting downtown two summers ago.

The project was advertised on the state's bid lists, Barrett said. It was automatically sent to Vermont contractors.

If the town advertised a little longer, Barrett said, more bids might have come in. But "with Zaluzny being so close with his supply, that made a big difference too in whether people could compete with him," he added.

The original estimate was about $150,000. But Barrett said he felt comfortable with the bigger price tag.

"There's a lot of work in this small congested area," he said. "Traffic control is also a factor."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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