The city is prepared to award a $3.3 million road resurfacing contract for roadways in the 5th and 6th Wards as part of mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ $37 million road reconstruction project.
Council members will consider awarding the contract to Wallington-based Smith-Sondy Asphalt Construction Co. which was the “lowest responsible” bidder for the work. Four other firms submitted bids ranging from $3.3 to $4.3 million, according to city records.
Luis Velez, 5th Ward councilman, said he will support the measure. He said he was pleased to see the administration is repairing a portion of 16th Avenue, a street he has often complained about since coming into office last year.
“We want our streets to be paved. That was the main complaint from residents,” he said on Monday afternoon.
Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, who initially opposed borrowing $35 million to repair the 170 primary roadways, has recently benefited from an amendment to the list of roads to be resurfaced as part of the program.
Sayegh convinced the administration to resurface West Railway Avenue as part of the program which prior to being resurfaced was described as the worst road in Paterson. “I have to re-examine the issue,” he said when asked whether he will vote in the affirmative on approving the contract. Asked if he is switching his position, he replied, “I wouldn’t call it switching. There are circumstances that have changed.”
He said he will have to consult with his constituents prior to casting his vote for the contract on Tuesday night. The city has been completing roads in all six wards in phases over the past two years.
It’s not clear which roads in the two wards are slated for resurfacing. Sayegh said he has yet to see a list; Velez said he was provided a list. The city clerk Sonia Gordon on Monday said her office has not been provided a list of the roads. The mayor’s office referred a request for a complete list of roadways scheduled for resurfacing to the city’s engineering division.
The city engineer was out for the day. 57 of 170 primary road segments have been resurfaced as part of the program, according to a report the city engineer presented to council members in December. The administration planned to have all the primary roads completed by 2018; however, this is unlikely due delays caused by utility work on roadways.
Torres campaigned hard in 2014 to repair local roadways. He received numerous complaints from residents about potholes and poor road conditions. Velez and Sayegh said the administration appears to be filling the large number of potholes that usually emerge in the spring.
Council members will consider the contract tonight.