$1.1 million Bristol water project begins June 19; no July 4 problems expected
BRISTOL — Five months of large-scale work to improve and expand Bristol’s water system are scheduled to begin on Monday, June 19. The work is expected to be completed by late November.
According to Town Administrator Therese Kirby despite the significant work to be done by contractor Munson Earth Moving Corporation of Williston, the project will not disrupt the beloved Bristol Fourth of July parade and related activities.
“We spoke to Munson. We spoke to the engineers. We spoke to everybody,” Kirby said. “Munson and the town and Green Mountain Engineering (also of Williston) all understand what a huge event the Fourth of July is in Bristol. Everybody is cognizant of that and are planning as always that the Fourth will go off without a hitch.”
The four-part project, for which voters approved a $1,115,020 bond in May 2016, includes:
• Replacing the aging waterline on West Street, from Airport Drive to Maple Street. The six-inch 1905 cast-iron piping will be replaced with an eight-inch main made of ductile iron, now the industry standard, according to Green Mountain Engineering.
• Upgrading the stormwater system on West Street to address drainage problems and bring that roadway into compliance with the Vermont Clean Water Act.
• Extending the waterline from West Street past the new fire station to Lovers Lane, a move that would support the proposed Stoney Hill business park.
Studies showed a critical need along West Street due to waterline leaks and breakages and found that the town was losing more than a third of the water pumped, about 200,000 gallons a day, due to its poor condition.
“We’re very excited to get this project underway,” said Kirby. “There’s been a lot of planning, There’s been a lot of hard work. We’re thrilled to once again partner with Green Mountain Engineering and with Munson Earth Moving.”
Kirby continued, “We know that we have stormwater issues on West Street that need to be addressed. We know we have leaks in the waterline. So while it may be an inconvenience, which we apologize for in advance, the end result is what Bristol needs, an upgrade in its infrastructure.”
Munson was the lowest bidder on the project, said Kirby, and both contractors are well known to the town. Munson did the North Street stormwater upgrade for Bristol in 2012, while Green Mountain Engineering has worked with the town on a number of projects, including the closing of the town landfill.
Now that the town is working from actual project bids, said Kirby, current estimates put project costs at $888,754, a 20 percent reduction of $226,266 from planning stage estimates.
• Replacing the aging West Street waterline, originally estimated at $490,951, came in at $387,343.
• Upgrading the stormwater system on West Street, originally estimated at $235,652, came in at $235,011.
• Extending the waterline past the new fire station to the site of the proposed business park, originally estimated at $102,468, is now estimated at $44,038. The original estimate included costs to extend water to the fire station itself, and most of that work has now been done.
• Extending the town water system to Lovers Lane, originally estimated at $285,949, came in at $222,362.
Kirby said that Munson’s base bid for the project was $685,591 and that the current estimates include engineering, legal, fiscal and administrative fees, as well as a 10 percent construction contingency.
The town has earmarked $100,000 from the Capital Road Fund to offset project costs, which lowers the amount that must be financed through bonding from $888,754 to $788,754. Kirby also said work to replace the aging West Street waterline will be paid by all taxpayers within the Water District (roughly those within the village designation) and that the work on the stormwater upgrades and the fire station and Lovers Lane extensions will be paid by all Bristol taxpayers.
In the pre-planning phase, the town has been working with Munson to minimize disruption as much as possible, said Kirby.
The town green-lighted Munson to work Monday through Friday, for up to 10 hours a day.
On weekdays, the plan is to keep one lane on West Street open at all times to allow through traffic. On weekends, two-way traffic will be restored.
Kirby emphasized that all West Street businesses — including the Village Creeme Stand, the Irving/Maplefields, Thad’s Automotive, Martin’s Hardware, Needles in Motion — would remain open and accessible.
Kirby said that there will be little disruption to traffic from the extension to Lovers Lane, as most of that construction will take place along wooded areas of Stoney Hill.
She also said that the town has emphasized with Munson the need for dust control measures over the course of construction.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is reached at email@example.com.