Port Arthur updates the construction of the street. Is yours on the current list? – News from Port Arthur
This week, city staff provided an update on ongoing street construction while describing issues that have slowed various parts of the process.
“Council informed me that streets are the # 1 priority for the City of Port Arthur, and most of the capital improvements for this year have been attributed to streets and have been allocated to streets over the past three years. years approximately. Said City Manager Ron Burton.
The project in question was approved by the Council in 2018 with the intention of spending $ 60 million over 5 to 6 years to repair the necessary infrastructure in the city. An independent contractor has been hired to survey the streets and recommend which ones should be given priority.
John Cannatella, the engineer recently hired by the city, led the workshop on Wednesday.
However, he stressed the need for better communication with utility companies in the future, after a project was terminated by the discovery of an underground telephone line.
While working on 6th Street, the contractors found a 4-inch AT&T telephone line buried under two concrete slabs. The line runs from Memorial Boulevard to Houston Avenue. If it had been cut during construction, it would have cut phone service in most of downtown, including City Hall.
“I’m not saying this to blame anyone, but I just want the Council to be aware that this is a priority for me going forward – that we need to do a better job of locating these utilities before we start. construction, ”Cannatella said. “Again, I don’t blame anyone. We did our due diligence, we called 811. But we will have to do a better job in the future because as we have contractors in construction and they come across these things, it causes delays in the design. . We don’t want that.
The number he referred to is the national “Call Before You Dig” hotline designed to locate hazards underground.
The buried phone line was likely missed, Cannatella said, because of the concrete it was buried under.
“In my past, it’s a communication problem. The 811 is a great system and it’s supposed to eliminate some form of liability… but there’s nothing better than contacting these gentlemen, these companies… getting the engineers involved from the start, ”he said. .
Councilor Thomas Kinlaw agreed, wondering who would be at fault – the city or the contractor – if such a mistake were to be made.
The town’s attorney said the contract would likely settle such liabilities.
Cannatella also awarded a $ 2.9 million contract for road repairs at Port Acres.
“The contractor is currently about 49% complete, but he’s spent 67% of his time, so he’s late,” the engineer said. “We will work to have this completed by March 1.”
City Councilor Cal Jones said he saw Cannatella and his staff chat with contractors to keep them on the job, and was pleased with the increased progress on the street improvement program.
“I’m glad to hear you say Lakeview Park is up and running,” Jones said. “It’s sweet music to my ears. I have been waiting for the project for about 4.5 years. It happened where it stressed me. People were calling me and I was running out of answers. But I’m glad to know it’s gone. I go through it every day and I see it. I like what I watch. I’m excited about it.
Cannatella has promised the board monthly updates as projects continue.
For a list of streets under construction during the phase of this exercise, Click here.