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Council Approves ‘Largest Paving Contract in Wheeling’s History’

WHEELING – Wheeling city officials on Tuesday approved what they described as the biggest paving contract in the city’s history – a $1.85 million job that will resurface scores of alleys in addition to streets throughout the city.

During Tuesday afternoon’s meeting of Wheeling City Council, an ordinance authorizing the $1,850,240 contract with Cast and Baker of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was introduced. Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron recommended that council hold two readings Tuesday in order to get the legislation passed and to allow the contractor to continue paving streets and alleys into the fall.

Herron said Cast and Baker is currently finishing up its current $650,000 contract with the city from this spring and would be able to continue working on the new list of streets and alleys into the fall if council passed the ordinance on an emergency basis Tuesday.

City leaders rallied behind the huge paving contract, particularly since it addressed numerous alleys throughout town, many of which have not been paved in decades.

“This paving contract represents the largest paving contract in Wheeling’s history,” Vice Mayor Chad Thalman said. “While we still have more streets and alleys that need attention, this contract is a major investment in our above-ground infrastructure. I anticipate more investment will be made in the next two years.”

Councilman Dave Palmer noted that paving projects have been a big priority for Wheeling City Council since 2016.

“What makes this contract special is the paving of the alleys,” Palmer said. “A portion of this contract is specifically for the resurfacing of certain alleys that were chosen as some of the worst in the city, and council realizes that there are many more to be resurfaced in the years ahead.”

Palmer noted that alley paving can sometimes be slightly more complicated that it seems.

“Alleys place a special tool on paving contractors, as they are smaller in width, normally do not have the same base compaction as regular streets and there is also the issue of garages and driveways with various design and drainage features,” he said.

The city earlier this year had agreed to allocate $1.5 million for the paving projects for this fiscal year. The bids came back higher than the original budget, but city leaders agreed to pay for the work out of the city’s Project Fund.

Cast and Baker submitted the low bid for the contract. In comparison, Kelly Paving submitted a bid of $2,596,162 for the work, NLS Paving submitted a bid of $2,692,566 and Bear Contracting submitted a bid of $3,061,385.

Work on the new contract for paving streets and alleys is expected to begin this fall and continue through completion in the spring.

“We do have some deadlines for completion of a percentage of the project this fall, as well as the remainder early next spring,” Herron said.

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