The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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February 28, 2014

CamTran cuts cost of center

JOHNSTOWN — CamTran leaders trimmed more than $180,000 from construction costs of a new $18 million operations center being built in the Woodvale section of Johnstown.

“We were concerned about some costs that might be overrunning later, but we have not compromised the project one bit,” Chairman Ed Cernic Jr. said after the Cambria County Transit Authority meeting Friday morning.

The savings represent a $182,584.29 net difference after five change orders approved Friday. The biggest change, and only reduction, is a $216,335 cut in general construction costs paid to Leonard S. Fiore construction of Altoona.

“That was when we did some value engineering on some things,” Cernic said. “We reduced the number of (vehicle) lifts from four to two. We have two portable lifts we’re using now, so we’ll take them down there.”

Designs also called for three flagpoles outside the building. The idea was for flying an American flag, a Pennsylvania flag and a CamTran flag.

“I said, ‘We don’t have a flag,’ and they said, ‘You'll have to get one,’ ” Cernic said. “I said, ‘No, we’ll get rid of one flagpole.’ ”

A third cutback was made in the entry design.

“In front, they had a double walkway designed, like the Taj Mahal,” Cernic said. “Now we’ll only have one.”

The savings were partially offset with three change orders that added $33,751.

“As you go along with any kind of project, you find things that might make it more useful,” Cernic said.

“That’s what we’ve done here.”

The authority also approved $17,674.65 for seven security cameras to be installed in urban buses. The purchase will close out a grant previously awarded, Cernic said.

Many of the buses already have security cameras, which have been used by local police to catch purse snatchers and other offenders, said Daron Arnott,  director of safety, security and risk management.

Most famously, video from a camera-equipped CamTran bus captured what has become a viral You Tube video when a deer crashed through the windshield and thrashed around the bus for a few seconds until driver John Porter was able to bring the vehicle to a stop and open the door.  

Randy Griffith covers transportation for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at


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