After years of planning, budgeting and saving, Carrboro’s Weaver Street is finally ready for its makeover.
Renovations from the east block to the west block of the street are slated to begin the week of March 7 after a bidding process was opened by town officials in January to area developing companies who vied for the chance to take on the project.
Major renovations to Weaver Street include the replacement of water mains, the installation of storm sewers and the reconstruction of deteriorating portions of the road.
Carrboro Public Works Director George Seiz said the town received six offers during the bidding process, which was delayed in mid-January due to “last-minute changes” in the plans, though Seiz did not elaborate on the adjustments.
“As a result of the changes, we sent out an addendum and notified the prospective bidders so that they could adjust their bids if necessary,” he said.
Seiz said the Public Works Department reviewed the offers and made its recommendation to the town manager, who was authorized to choose a developing company if the project fell within the town’s budget.
On Feb. 8, Carrboro awarded a construction contract to Hannah Utilities Inc., a Durham-based company that placed the lowest bid of slightly more than $1 million. According to a town press release issued last week, bids ranged from about $1 million to $1.42 million.
Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton said the deal is a significant breakthrough because the town has been anticipating the reconstruction of Weaver Street for several years.
“We’ve been saving up town tax dollars since we’ve known (the project) has been coming,” Chilton said. “We’ve been putting some money in our piggy bank for the last five years.”
Chilton said the project, which will also allow for wider bike lanes and improved fire protection, will last for at least the next year and will be completed in phases, with only a few segments of the road being renovated at once.
He also addressed the concerns that many business owners along Weaver Street have about the potential negative effects of the construction on their customer base.
“It’s definitely going to have a significant impact on several businesses,” he said. “It’s going to be a difficult time for each business as we’re working right in front of them.
“We’ve tried to plan it in a way and work out deals with business owners to share driveways to keep as many driveways open to customers as possible.”
About one week prior to construction, drivers will be informed via flashing road signs to expect traffic delays.
Once the project has begun, drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes around Weaver, Main and Greensboro streets, and Chapel Hill Transit will post notices of bus stop relocations as necessary.
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