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Costs for Ogdensburg’s street reconstruction likely to be triple original estimates

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OGDENSBURG — Ogdensburg’s contribution to its $7.5 million Paterson Street reconstruction project could reach $900,000, three times more than city officials originally estimated.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton said in March that the state Department of Transportation had revised the scope of the project so that it would not pay to replace all aging water and sewer lines under the street. Instead, DOT agreed to fix only those lines impacted by the project.

DOT Region 7 spokesman Michael R. Flick, Watertown, did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

The reconstruction has been six years in the making, and is expected to start next month. City officials expect the project to be complete in August 2015.

“Originally there was $300,000 we had to contribute, but that was based on everything being covered by the project, including all the water and sewer pipes,” City Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo said Tuesday. “That would have represented our 5 percent of the project’s costs. Since they’ve gotten more detailed work done, they now indicate that some of what we wanted done is not covered under the original scope of the project.”

The federal government is paying 80 percent of the project’s cost, with the state picking up 15 percent and the city covering the rest.

Mr. Cosmo said the $900,000 estimate could change once the project begins, depending on how much the construction affects water and sewer pipes. If the state needs to replace more pipes than DOT officials currently think will be affected by the project, it will bring the city’s cost down, he said.

City Department of Public Works interim Director Gregg E. Harland said all of the sewer lines under Paterson Street will be replaced, but much of the water system is less than 30 years old and will be left in place.

“The water main north of Knox Street is going to be replaced because that’s old cast iron,” he said, “But from Knox Street south to Route 37 is less than 30 years old and it’s ductile, concrete-lined pipe.”

The road will be widened by two feet, storm drainage will be improved, the combined sewer system will be separated, and new curbs and handicapped-accessible sidewalks will be installed. The city also will add pedestrian signals to the intersection of Ford and Paterson streets.

Trees along the street were cut down earlier this year, and new vegetation will be planted “that is conducive to the corridor’s park-like streetscape and allows for the widening of the roadway,” Mr. Pinkerton said in a news release Tuesday. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The release also said that during construction, traffic will be detoured or accommodated by one-lane closures. Large trucks may be temporarily detoured along other routes, but city officials do not expect that access to Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority facilities or the Paterson Street boat launch will be disrupted. Traffic to the port of Ogdensburg is encouraged to use the Ford Street entrance.

The City Council on Monday approved a contract naming J.E. Sheehan Contracting Corp., Potsdam, the project’s prime contractor at a cost not to exceed $5,541,659. Barton & Loguidice, Syracuse, is the project engineer.

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