Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

After putting the finishing touches on the High Street “streetscape,” the Public Works Department of the Borough is in the process of initiating a subsequent project, Church Street “streetscapes.”The High Street scape is a beautification project that was underway as of Sept. 4 and was completed the week before Thanksgiving, Bob Wilpizeski, director of PWD, said. Between the blocks of Miner and Market in addition to Gay and Chestnut, renovations made to the street included 17 new pedestal light fixtures, new curbs, new brick sidewalks, trash receptacles and benches with a budget of nearly 800 thousand dollars. Furthermore, locations have been designated for 16 new trees that will be planted in April.

Under the engineering of Hubert, Rowland and Gubric, the Borough elicited their aid for the control of the design, bidding-proposing estimations for contractors to base their activities on-and contracting for the project. HRG, according to a Borough document, was actually the lowest bidder, asking for $42,350. From here, Giovannone construction was hired to actually enact the renovations. The Borough had worked with Giovannone before, according to Wilpizeski. However, the original budget proposed by Giovannone was beyond the desired one–$836,000. But certain reductions were made in order to lower the budget which included the elimination of a banner pole on one block of High Street. Other eliminations eventually reduced the final budget to $768, 962.

The High Street project fund, which was awarded by Chester County, is actually one of the streetscapes projects the Borough has completed.

In 2004, the Market Street project was underway and completed. However, the Borough is now in the midst of planning the Church Street scape, to which funds were not awarded by the County, but by PennDOT in 2005. The Borough, according to Wilpizeski, applied for this particular grant that was designated for municipalities who were in need of improving street lighting and side walk conditions in addition to other elements that would render a particular street safe.

PennDOT is fiscally endorsing this project. This means that the Borough only requires HRG for designing.

“We had to adhere to PennDOT proposals,” Wilpizeski said. “Church Street is not a PennDOT street, [and there] are fewer restrictions on a Borough Street.

After the Borough was awarded a grant of $849,052 as of May 2006, HRG then mapped out the area-naming every tree and locating every concrete item, evaluating health of trees, light fixtures between Chestnut and Miner on Church Street. The design-large manuals and several pages of blue prints-budget at $53,300.

“It’s the process of quantifying the scopes of work,” Wilpizeski said.

However, with a budget of nearly 850 thousand dollars, the Borough was dubious of whether the amount would suffice the conditions; comparing the Church Street scape to a former street scape that was initiated a few years ago is no longer accurate, according to Wilpizeski. So, Wilpizeski and HRG sat down on Thursday Feb. 21 in order to address this possibility.

“We need to take a step back,” Wilpizeski said. “[We need] to apply new money figures and get a realistic idea.”

HRG is currently working on a more precise probable cost-or estimation-that is in accordance to the budget. If the budget still does not suffice the amount of work, some prospective renovations will be eliminated from the street scape project.

However, on March 19 at the Borough Council meeting, HRG will be directed to launch its design plans given that restrictions and eliminations will be made.

“We know the process,” Wilpizeski said.

After March 19, the Borough’s work involved in the street scape is essentially done for the exception of acting as overseers.

The improvements of street scape is a substantial improvement, Wilpizeski said.

“It’s why we go for street scape funds.”

Nicole Fortuna is a second-year student majoring in English with a concentration in Romantic languages. She can be reached at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.

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