TREMONT — Town Manager Chris Saunders expected bids for a replacement culvert on Clark Point Road to come in under $5,000, which would allow him to go ahead with the project without authorization from the Board of Selectmen. However, the single bid that he received was for $10,168.
A culvert is a structure, usually made from metal or concrete, which allows water and debris to flow from one side of the road to the other.
Selectman Mike Mansolilli suggested that the town determine the optimal size of culverts before requesting bids.
“Some of the ones I’ve seen seem small,” Mansolilli said.
“15 [inches] is what we’ve always done but I’m in favor of 18 [inches] if it accomplishes the goal of draining the water,” said Public Works Foreman Jimmy Schlaefer, adding that in the past the town has occasionally opted for two smaller culverts in some places to ensure proper drainage.
“But the issue with culverts in part of the town is that there isn’t enough surface on top of culverts,” said Schlaefer.
Schlaefer is confident that Public Works can handle some of the culvert replacement projects, such as the ones on Flat Iron Road, Dodge Point Road, and Hodgdon Road.
Chairman Kevin Buck asked Schlaefer to come up with a comprehensive list of culvert replacements that the Public Works crew can do in-house, and Schaefer and Saunders are set to discuss what jobs will have to be put out to bid.
Schlaefer noted the culvert at the south end of Cape Road as a major project that will require ledge removal and slope grading. Saunders said the first step would be to approach the property owner to see if he would allow a lien on his land for the town to do work.
According to Mansolilli, dense tree cover near the roads creates ice buildup that leads to spring flooding, which leads to ground saturation.
“The trees would have to be put out to bid because of power lines,” Mansolilli said. “But ditches Public Works can do.”
According to Mansolilli, cutting down 25 nearby trees to reduce ice buildup will cost less than $15,000.