McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 29, 2013

The Xs mark the spots

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — All those “X’s” written on some of the street panels along Strong Boulevard on the city’s south side means steps have been put in motion  to have some of them replaced.

The city will be working with private contractors for concrete damage replacement in parts of the city, according to City Manager Pete Stasiak.

“What we’ve done is Public Works has identified about 1,000 bad panels,” Stasiak said Thursday, referring to the panels in sections of city streets.

Plans are to divide the city into different sections and projects for purposes of the street panel repairs. Stasiak said the first section will be on Strong Boulevard, between Carl Albert Parkway and South Street.

“We’ve identified about 16 between Walgreens and South Street,” Stasiak said, referring to the “bad” panels..

It’s estimated the cost will be between $1,000 to $1,200 to repair each panel, said Stasiak, although it’s possible some might cost more or perhaps less.

He said the projects will be paid for through funds already budgeted for street work.

The city plans to let all of the projects out for “quote” to private contractors, he said. Because the city plans to break the work up into different projects, Stasiak said the city doesn’t intend to open bids on the jobs because it’s anticipated each project will cost less than $25,000 each.

Stasiak said Thursday other sections of the street repair project will follow the south Strong Boulevard section.

For example, another section in the works is along Second Street and Electric Avenue.

Another is Washington Avenue on the east side, where some of the street is sinking into the ground.

Stasiak said the work may not necessarily be done in that order and there are other sections of the city slated for repairs as well,

“We are looking at the major corridors,” Stasiak told the McAlester City Council during their regular Tuesday night meeting at City Hall.

Once the work begins, it’s expected to interrupt the normal traffic flow.

“We will keep the public informed because it will cause some problems,” Stasiak said

The city manager noted that cost could vary depending on the  severity of the damage and what must be replaced underneath the surface of the street panels.

“They fail for a reason,” Stasiak said of the panels. “There is probably unstable material underneath them.”

Stasiak agreed Thursday that the section of Strong Boulevard north of Carl Albert Parkway could use some work too. However, he said that might require actual street construction, as opposed to repairs, because of what he considers an unstable base under parts of the street panels with problems.

Stasiak said Thursday he’s hopeful the information will be let out for quote from contractors next week and the work will soon follow.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.