07/09/14 — Council approves TIGER grant funding

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Council approves TIGER grant funding

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on July 9, 2014 1:46 PM

The state Local Government Commission has approved a $5 million financing package for the city of Goldsboro to proceed with nearly $15 million in transportation improvement projects downtown.

The funds are going to pay for the construction of a new GATEWAY transfer station as well as Streetscape along Walnut and Center streets and the area surrounding Goldsboro Union Station and the new bus station.

The LGC had to sign off on the deal. Now, with the last major hurdle to receiving the money cleared, work can begin once contracts are signed.

The projects are funded by a $10 million federal transportation grant, with nearly $5 million being financed as a local city match for the grant.

The funds are expected to be deposited in an escrow account in the city's name Thursday, with the city signing contracts for the projects next week, Goldsboro City Manager Scott Stevens said.

"We will sign contracts once the money is in," Stevens said. "I think we'd realistically be looking at an August time frame before we started seeing any real work happening. That will be up to the contractors, but I would say late August to early September. It's their plan from here on out."

The city awarded the Walnut Street Streetscape and GATEWAY transfer station projects to Daniels and Daniels Construction Co., which submitted the lowest qualifying bid.

The GATEWAY station project will cost the city $5.1 million with $120,000 in contingency funds.

The scope of the GATEWAY transfer station project was reduced by $500,000 during the award process to fall within the budget set for the projects.

Daniels and Daniels also will take on the Walnut Street Streetscape project. The company's bid came in at $2.9 million for the project, with $80,000 approved in contingency funds. The project will run from Center to Carolina streets and includes Streetscape around the city's planned multi-modal transportation complex encompassing Union Station and the new bus station.

The transfer station and surrounding Streetscape projects have a 12-month time frame to be completed once contracts are signed, Stevens said.

Damon Jones, vice president of administration at Daniels and Daniels, said that his employees are ready to get to work on both projects.

"We're ready to roll once we get the contracts done from the city," Jones said. "We have 12 months on each project and I expect they will both run concurrent."

Jones said that conservatively it would take the full 12 months to complete the projects, but that company officials hope to finish sooner.

The city awarded the Center Street Streetscape project to TA Loving Co. for $6.8 million, without contingency.

The city is planning $200,000 in contingency funds for the project.

The project encompasses the next three blocks of Center Street, running from Mulberry Street to Spruce Street.

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 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 that will allow emergency vehicles to pass and large trucks to deliver products to vendors and make U-turns.

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.