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TREMONT - It's been seven years since the Union Street bridge has been closed to all traffic, and following a snag with bids for the bridge repair, its opening may be delayed further.

Three bids for the project were opened at a special Tremont borough council meeting September 17 with Performance Construction Services, Harrisburg, low bidder at $22,021.

Two other bids were received, one from Donohue Excavating and Paving, at $39,770, and Spotts Brothers, at $56,925. Both companies are located in Schuylkill Haven.

Bids on several other projects were also opened, all of which were approved for reimbursement by FEMA/PEMA providing they do not exceed the estimate provided by the borough's engineer. If higher, the project would need to be re-approved to cover the increased amount for reimbursement.

The bid on the drainage channel, east of Union Street, was awarded to Donohue for $32,875. Three other bids were received from Frantz Construction, Pine Grove, $46,000; Spotts Brothers, $62,100; and Performance, $49,158.

Five bids for a project which involves multiple drainage channels located throughout the borough ranged from the low bid of $122,000 submitted by Kevin E. Raker Construction, Sunbury, to the high bid of $265,442 submitted by Frantz. The other three were submitted by Donohue, $159,978; Spotts, $155,595; and Performance, $233,494.

The sole bidder for a drainage channel located south of Line Street was submitted by Frantz Construction at $42,822.

Donohue was the low bidder at $38,800 for the drainage channel located west of Good Spring Creek. Three others were received from Frantz, $98,575; Performance, $69,613; and Spotts, $67,100.

One extremely low bid in comparison to the other three submitted for the repairs to the pedestrian bridge over the Good Spring Creek was submitted by Performance at $6,500. The other three bids were from Superior 3, Pine Grove, at $21,000; Raker, $29,300; and Spotts, $36,225.

Two bids were received for repairs to the stone wall along the Good Spring Creek. Superior 3 was the low bidder at $6,500 with Spotts bidding $25,300.

Spotts was the low bidder at $29,095 for a project advertised as the stone culvert at Poplar Creek opening, while Bill Davis Cement Contractor, Mahanoy City, bid $30,499. Council president, Bob Donmoyer, describes the project as a replacement of a 30-foot stone section that had been washed out at both entrances of the tunnel on Laurel Street.

All bids were awarded contingent upon review and recommendations from both the engineer, Tom Schreffler of Light-Heigel, and the borough's solicitor, Chris Hobbs.

However, on September 19, about 50-yards from the entrance of the lower end of the tunnel, a section of the tunnel's roof collapsed. According to Donmoyer a car backed into the yard at Laurel Street and one of the rear wheels sank into a hole requiring the car to be towed out. To prevent anyone from falling into the hole, a metal covering was put over it. The engineer was contacted to make an addendum to the project, and PEMA would later be contacted for possible approval of added cost.

The following day, September 20, the low bidder for the Union Street bridge repair, Performance Construction Services, requested the withdrawal of their bid and the return of their bid bond. Since the request was made within the allowable 48-hour time frame, their request was accepted.

Advice of the borough's solicitor Chris Hobbs, and engineer Tom Schreffler, was sought. Both agreed all bids for the Union Street bridge project should be rejected and the project rebid. A vote at a public meeting or a consensus of council members would be required.

Contacted September 23, Donmoyer noted the hole had grown to 15-feet in diameter and 10-feet deep requiring a fence to be placed around it. Since the stone culvert at the Poplar Creek opening project had grown so much larger and it is unknown what the additional costs might be and whether or not they would be reimbursable, Donmoyer said it is the consensus of the council that the bridge project be put on hold.

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