Hudson moves forward with $6 million Route 91 turn lane project

Council signs off on legislation despite concerns raised by mayor

PHIL KEREN
Reporter

HUDSON — Despite concerns raised by the mayor, council moved forward with a $6 million contract to add more designated left turn lanes along Route 91.

Council voted 6-0 on June 2 in favor of a contract with Liberta Construction for the state Route 91 north turn lane improvement project. Including a 5% contingency, the overall cost of the project awarded to Liberta is $6,053,850. Of this amount, the Ohio Department of Transportation will provide $3.025 million and the city of Akron will chip in about $681,000 to install a new water line in the project area.

The project will include the addition of left turn lanes at Valley View Road, Herrick Park Drive and Hines Hill Road, the resurfacing of Route 91 from Brandywine Drive to Middleton Road, the installation of an 8-foot sidewalk on the east side of the road, and bike lanes on both sides of the road from Brandywine to Middleton.

The legislation authorized the city manager to enter a contract “with the lowest and best bidder after receipt of such bids to the extent that such bid is not 10% in excess of the revised engineer’s estimate …”

Before legislators voted, Mayor Craig Shubert said he was “concerned” because Liberta’s base bid of $5,765,572 is “13.3% more than the revised engineer’s estimate …it would appear to be in conflict with this legislation.” Shubert said his information shows the revised engineer’s estimate was $5,088,869.

Shubert said that when contingencies are added in for both Liberta’s bid and the engineer’s estimate, the difference between the two figures is 12.2%.

“I just want to make sure that our language [in the resolution] is legal, it’s correct and that we’re able to move forward with this project,” stated Shubert.

Assistant City Manager Thom Sheridan clarified that the revised engineer’s base estimate was $5,394,202, which is within 10% of Liberta’s base bid of $5,765,572. Shubert contended that the engineer’s estimate of $5,394,202 included a 6% contingency “so that’s not [the engineer’s] base number. Their base number is $5,088,000.”

Sheridan said the $5,088,000 was an “old estimate from back in February,” and noted that the engineer’s estimate that was read the day bids were opened was $5,394,202, which was “without any contingencies.”

Council member Hal DeSaussure (At Large) said, “the information that we’ve had on this is that [Liberta’s bid is] within the 10%,” and added he was ready to move forward with a vote. Council President Bill Wooldredge (At Large) also asked to move ahead with the vote.

Shubert asked City Solicitor Matt Vazzana whether he thought the legislation should either be amended or the vote postponed.

Vazzana said that based on information shared from Sheridan and City Engineer Brad Kosco, “I think we can conclude that [the bid is] within the 10%.”

Shubert stated, “I respectfully disagree, having gone through three copies of the resolutions, [and] the notes from engineering. If you’re comfortable with it, it’s council’s decision.”

The mayor does not vote on legislation in Hudson.

Shubert told the Hub-Times on Wednesday that he has since signed the legislation.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.