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Paterson Street project scope adjusted, may cost Ogdensburg more than expected


The Paterson Street rehabilitation slated to begin in late spring or early summer may end up costing the city of Ogdensburg more than expected after the state Department of Transportation revised the project’s scope.

With an estimated price tag of $7 million, the project will see a one mile section of Paterson Street resurfaced and widened, with upgrades made to parts of the city’s water, sewer and storm drain systems.

The project is being funded 80 percent by federal sources, 15 percent by the state and 5 percent by the city.

But City Manager John M. Pinkerton said the city may end up paying more than 5 percent — possibly up to $1 million — after changes announced by the DOT.

Originally, Mr. Pinkerton said, the project included upgrades to much of the water, sewer and storm drain systems that are under the street.

“They were going to repair any sewer and storm water and water lines that needed repair,” Mr. Pinkerton said.

DOT has decided, however, that the project will only address underground lines that are directly impacted by the project.

With the project likely tearing up three-feet of earth in order to lay a new road base, Mr. Pinkerton said, “If it is more than three feet down then they don’t feel the need to replace those unless they get damaged because equipment is running over them.”

However, Mr. Pinkerton said, because much of the sewer system under the street is more than 100 years old, “We think it would be foolish to not address those sewer lines.”

If the repairs are not made when the road is already torn up, Mr. Pinkerton said, the city fears that future renovations would be harder to complete.

Bids for the project are due April 16, and Mr. Pinkerton said the city will have a better understanding of exactly how much it will be paying for the project then. However, Mr. Pinkerton cautioned that until contractors get under the street and begin taking a look at the sewer system, they won’t really know what needs to be done.

“It will change as time goes on,” he said of the costs, though he said he does not expect them to rise astronomically.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo projected the renovations could not cost more than $1 million.

Also at Monday’s meeting, City Council approved a $4 million bond that will allow the city to begin paying contractors up front, with federal and state money reimbursing the city later on.

Mr. Cosmo said, “We are borrowing enough to keep up with the cash flow need.”

He said he does not anticipate the city will need to borrow more than $2.5 million.

Mr. Pinkerton said the city will finance any project costs above and beyond the originally planned 5 percent.

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