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Massena Aluminum Trail project going out to bid later this week

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MASSENA — After years of discussion, a project to rehabilitate the village’s Aluminum Trail is finally coming to fruition, as the work will be put out to bid later this week.

Fred Mastroianni, vice president at the Albany-based Greenman-Perderson engineering firm, told village board members the project would be going out to bid on Thursday with the bid opening scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 9.

“This is a bridge, but it’s more of a multi-use trail,” Mr. Mastroianni said, adding this was a unique project for his firm, which specializes in bridge work, to be a part of.

The project will include 5-foot wide sidewalks with Americans with Disabilities Act ramps leading up to the 10-foot wide asphalt trail, which crosses the Grasse River near Liberty Avenue and ends up on East Orvis Street.

The main focal point of the project will be repairs to the foot bridge, which is about to have a concrete deck.

“We’re going to rehabilitate the bridge,” Mr. Mastroianni said, explaining the refurbished bridge will feature 10-foot wide precast concrete slabs.

This, he said, will provide enough room for walkers and joggers, as well as bicyclists. The current bridge is much narrower and only has room for one lane of traffic.

According to Mr. Mastroianni, the remaining cost of the project is estimated to be $1.15 million, just below the $1,153,800 the village has available for the project. Should the main portion of the project come in under bid, an alternative parking lot for the trail may also be built.

Estimates for the parking lot portion of the project are $100,000.

“We still have in our plans a parking lot,” he said, adding that is included in the bid packets as an alternate project for contractors to bid on.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad said if there isn’t enough money left to complete the parking lot that it is something village employees would build at some point.

“If the bids come in favorable, we’ll put the onus on the contractor. If not, we’ll do it at some point,” he said, adding the parking lot would be located at the mouth of the north side of the foot bridge. Mr. Mastroianni said the lot would include seven spots, with one being a handicapped spot.

“We’ll hopefully get some good bids back,” Mr. Mastroianni, adding that the project is expected to have a final price tag of $1.826 million. That figure includes the $288,000 in engineering costs already paid for by the village.

During the final citizen’s comments portion of the meeting, former Mayor Charlie Boots questioned the need for a parking lot.

Mayor James F. Hidy said the lot would be for people who would like to bike, walk or jog on the trail and then return to their vehicles.

Mr. Boots then asked whether he lot would be open at night.

“I can’t answer that,” Mr. Hidy said.

Mr. Boots said given its location he would suggest closing the lot at night.

“It’s not the most friendly area in Massena. To leave it open at night, you’re just asking for trouble down there,” he said.

Mr. Hidy said he didn’t think closing the lot would eliminate problems, noting pedestrians would still have access to the property.

“Whether it’s opened or closed, you’re still going to have issues,” he said.

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