OK expected for street-fix funds

Westminster City Council likely to approve $2.1 million for West Green Street renovations

March 12, 2006|By LAURA MCCANDLISH | LAURA MCCANDLISH,SUN REPORTER

The Westminster City Council is expected to award a $2.1 million contract tomorrow night to renovate West Green Street.

The project, which includes reconstructing the road and sidewalks between Liberty Street and New Windsor Road, has been in the works for at least two years, said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's director of planning and public works.

The street lacks storm water drains, and West Green Street often floods. "The whole street is like a big river when it rains," said Councilman Robert P. Wack, who lives on the street.

Because the street has to be ripped up to install the storm drains, the council decided to also replace old water, sewer and gas mains. The project will be completed in three phases. During each phase, part of West Green Street will be closed for several months, Beyard said. The last phase, between Cover Lane and Liberty Street, should be completed by the summer of 2007.

"It's going to be a nightmare," said Karen Loats, who also lives on the street. "It was bad enough [last] summer when they installed gas meters. This will be 10 times worse."

Loats said she feels lucky to have parking in the alley behind her house but said about 60 houses with driveways in front and no alley access will feel trapped when the road is dug up.

Still, Loats conceded that the street has deteriorated and requires major repairs.

When bids were opened March 2, the lowest came from Thomas, Bennett & Hunter Inc., a ready-mixed concrete supplier.

"It's finally happening," Beyard said. "For two years, we were trying to budget money to get this on the schedule. We were waiting to see if the bids were the right price, and this is right on."

Up to $3 million had been budgeted to renovate the street, Beyard said.

Before launching this project, the city held three public forums on design considerations.

Residents have expressed concern about parking and trash collection. While those issues have yet to be resolved, parking should be made available on side streets, Wack said. Trash collection points should also be accessible.

"I'm sure it will be an inconvenience," Wack said. "It's a major overhaul but a much-needed project. We are all looking forward to having a new street."

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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