City officials have selected a new contractor for the project, which was supposed to be a basic “remove and replace” job, according to Community Board 5 district manager Gary Giordano.
The first contractor, New Jersey-based firm Mugrose Construction, defaulted on its contract, further delaying the project that was supposed to be finished by last January. The project was first announced in May 2016, and was originally slated to be completed in 21 months.
Giordano said after Mugrose had defaulted, it was up to the surety company, Travelers, to find a replacement.
“That didn’t happen too easily,” he said. “I think they may have had to rebid the job.”
Giordano guessed that they bid far more than $14 million, which is what Mugrose had bid.
Board members asked if the entire Metropolitan Avenue bridge needed to be rebuilt. The project only called for the bridge deck to be replaced.
Giordano said he’s hoping to “get away with the deck and not the entire bridge.”
A resident engineer, who is connected to the contractor, found that there were not any significant structural problems underneath the bridge, he said.
“I’m hoping that will stand,” Giordano said. “So far, we have not gotten any indication that any of the structure holding up the bridge is a problem.”
The district manager added that roughly one-third of the bridge deck has been demolished so far. The new contractor will have to demo the rest, then place new concrete and asphalt over it.
“They’re hoping if all goes right, this new contractor can be done by September,” Giordano said.
On Monday, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the surety companies have selected Beaver Concrete Construction Company as its new contractor.
The firm has been in business since 1946, and completed several bridge rehab projects for DOT, including the Trans-Manhattan Expressway Connector Ramp.