During the Common Council meeting of the city of Darlington that took place on Tuesday, April 16, public works director for the city, Jeremy Williams presented a bid and information regarding the replacement of the Main Street medians in the city of Darlington.
The bid received was from Al Leahy Concrete and had a total cost of $15,920 for the replacement of all four blocks of medians on Main Street.
According to Williams, the median was created between 1950 and 1951 and the lights were installed in 1988. At that point the cement area around the lights was replaced as part of the installation process.
Since that time, Williams explained that the Public Works Department of the city of Darlington has patched various areas on the median, but there has not really been any significant work done on it since its creation.
“The median is crumbling due to the general wear and tear that it receives on a daily basis,” said Williams. “I believe that any time a surface starts to crumble, it is a safety hazard,” he added. Williams explained that the public works department does its best to pick up any chunks of concrete that have fallen off of the median when they see them, but that those chunks leave behind obvious gaps and holes.
“Quite frankly our downtown is a huge asset to our city and we need to keep it looking nice,” said Williams. “Everyone works very hard to keep their properties up downtown and throughout the community and the last thing we need is an eyesore right on Main Street.”
Williams went on to say how fortunate Darlington is in having the Main Street buildings in use with people frequenting them. “This is why we need to complete this project, but also why we will be diligent in working with Al Leahy Concrete to complete it as efficiently as possible,” he said.
Although there is not an official start date for construction on this project, Williams anticipates that it will take place sometime around the end of June or early July, after Darlington’s Canoe Festival has concluded.
During the construction process, Al Leahy Concrete plans to pour one block per day, while getting another block ready to pour for the next day. That way not all of the blocks will be torn up at the same time.
It is anticipated that the project will not take longer than five days, as long as the weather cooperates.
“We understand the inconvenience that the construction is going to cause our businesses, residents and visitors,” said Williams. “We do not want to prolong it any more than we have to.”
Williams said the Main Street businesses will be receiving advance notification about the project along with the Republican Journal, so that people will have plenty of time to prepare.
As far as the traffic situation during this project, Darlington Police Chief Jason King said that at this point he’s still not sure. “The city sent a letter to the contractor advising him he will have to meet with Jeremy and me prior to construction to figure that out,” said King.
During the city council meeting, Williams explained that he did not budget an amount for this project in 2013, so he suggested that the city add the cost of the median replacement project to the loan already being taken out for the municipal building parking lot project.
After the discussion about the project during the city council meeting, a motion was made by Alderperson Cynthia Corley to accept the bid from Al Leahy Concrete for the median replacement project and to finance the cost of $15,920 with loan funds. Alderperson Steve Pickett gave a second and the motion carried unanimously.