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September 16, 2013

South Fork road fix may wait until spring

SOUTH FORK — Road damage in South Fork Borough could affect travel through the town’s main drag until spring, if assistance from the South Fork Municipal Authority doesn’t come through.

During the Aug. 8 heavy rain and flash flooding, an estimated 30-foot stretch of pavement at the intersection of Maple and Cross streets buckled, causing ridges that run, at most, a foot deep.

Bids for repavement work were opened at the Borough Council’s Monday meeting.

Paving contractor Quaker Sales Corp. of Johnstown submitted the only bid, for $24,861.31. Council members seemed surprised, as the affected area is roughly 30 feet and there was only one bid to be opened.

The work detailed in the council’s proposition included base repairs, sawcutting and removal, and disposal of the damaged and buckled pavement and subbase through milling or excavating.

According to council members, several contracting firms, including HRI Inc. of Johnstown and Gordon Delozier Inc. of Johnstown, examined the damaged intersection but did not submit bids. Councilman Thomas Smiach considered the viability of private contractors, but Vivian reminded him that contractors chosen for municipal work must be PennDOT-approved.

The council now will be forced to wait for possible fund assistance from the South Fork Municipal Authority.

As bids are typically valid for 30 days, Councilman Richard Vivian suggested tabling the bid until the next council meeting on Oct. 14.

“We haven’t even heard back from the municipal authority yet, and there’s no way we’ll have the 25 grand to pay for that,” said Vivian.

The council will look into a temporary coal patch fix. The Quaker Sales bid was deferred – possibly until spring, if municipal authority assistance doesn’t materialize by the next meeting.

“If the authority can’t help us out, we’ll have to budget it and go to the bank,” Vivian said.

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on‚ÄąTwitter at Twitter.com/JustinDennis.

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