03/03/14 — City needs approval before bids open

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City needs approval before bids open

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on March 3, 2014 1:46 PM

The city of Goldsboro is waiting on final approval from the Federal Transit Administration to become an official grantee before opening bidding on the next phase of Streetscape.

Before using the $10 million in TIGER grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the city has to fulfill the requirements of becoming an FTA grantee.

"There are literally thousands of documents that have to be generated to get approval to be a grantee," Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. Director Julie Metz said. "We are at the end of the process before we can bid Streetscape out."

Approval as an FTA grantee will serve to allow the city to begin work on all three of the Center Street projects approved in the grant application.

The city plans to release the bidding package for the next three sections in March, with bids coming in until late spring or early summer, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

The expected cost of the project is below the $6 million sought in the grant application.

"It's not $4 million, but it's not $6.8 million either," Stevens said. "It's somewhere under that $6 million figure."

Until the bids come in, the actual cost will not be known.

The project encompasses Center Street from Mulberry to Spruce streets with the focus being on finishing the portion from Mulberry Street to Chestnut Street.

"The most businesses are in those blocks so we want the focus to be on finishing them first," Stevens said. "We have talked about having a different time frame on those two blocks to focus in on them in the bid."

One caveat of the project is that pedestrian access will remain unhindered throughout the 10-12 month process and that vehicular transport be maintained when possible, Stevens said.

During the planning stages last year the decision was made to maintain part of the existing sidewalk to maintain access to the businesses while also saving money on the project overall.

Three roundabouts will also be constructed as part of the project, removing the traffic signals at all three cross streets along Center Street.

The single-lane roundabouts will have mountable curbs for emergency vehicles to pass as well as allowing tractor-trailer trucks to deliver products to vendors and make U-turns on Center Street.

Unlike the first block of Center Street in front of City Hall, angled parking will be offered on the right side of the road with parallel parking on the left side allowing for a wider median.

Both sides of Center Street will be brought down to one lane in each direction with a bike lane like the first phase of Streetscape.

By the summer of 2015 Stevens said he expects Center Street Streetscape will be finished, with work close to complete on Walnut Street Streetscape and the GATEWAY bus transfer station on Carolina Street next to Goldsboro Union Station.