PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city has put out the bid for line painting.
The city was late getting the bid out this year, leaving crosswalks unpainted as school quickly approaches. Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell and Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi both voiced outrage at a recent council meeting that the work hadn't been done.
"I've been around the city, I've seen the crosswalks, and they are disgusting. It is unacceptable," Morandi had said on Tuesday. "We pay for services and we expect them to be done ... We've got school in three weeks, those crosswalks have to be done."
Commissioner of Public Service and Utilities David Turocy said the department was shorthanded and the bid hadn't gone out. Now, the city has released a request for proposal and is hoping to get some of the work done this fall.
"Ideally we would paint all the road lines — center lines, fog lines, etc. — as well as crosswalks this year. We'll see how far we get based on contractor availability/scheduling and weather," Turocy said on Friday. "What doesn't get done this year will be completed next year."
The bid opens for contractors to submit proposals by Aug. 30 with work commencing on Sept. 11. Turocy noted that the bid is for a two-year contract, which he hopes will ensure that next year's work is done more timely than this year.
"This is being put out as a two-year contract, which will enable us to get onto a better schedule for all this work next year and ensure it gets down on a more timely basis," Turocy said.
Turocy had planned on getting a bid out early in the spring in hopes to get a contractor on board and get more favorable scheduling for the work. As contractors load up with more and more work, it gets tougher for the city to request work be done at certain times.
While there is the chance for contractors to bid on the contract and start working this fall, there is no guarantee a contract will be awarded. But, the hope is that at least some of the work will be done.
On Friday, Connell, who filed the petition to discuss the issue at Tuesday's council meeting, said he still wants the crosswalks done before school starts.
"The line painting is done every year especially the crosswalks. If the crosswalks are not going to be completed before school opens, then I feel the highway department should complete this task. This is a safety issue that should have already been done," Connell said.
Connell and Morandi had voiced concern about liability should a pedestrian get hit while crossing the street in a faded crosswalk. Connell suggested on Tuesday that the highway department purchase line striping equipment and make sure at least the crosswalks are done by the end of the month.
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