Seaside company's bid may mean more streets are paved this summerThe city of Astoria may save a significant amount of money on its million-dollar street paving project, set to start in early July, or choose to add more streets to the list.

The apparent low bidder when sealed bids were opened Thursday was Bayview Transit Mix of Seaside, at $886,913.

TFT, located in Scappoose, came in at $998,837. Tualatin-based BRIX's bid was $1,312,442.

The Astoria City Council will award the contract June 21, and the next day the contractor will be sent a "letter to proceed."

Meanwhile, to get ready for the big project, city crews are preparing the streets on the paving list, starting on the east side of town and working their way westward, the same order in which paving will proceed.

The Daily Astorian will publish a color-coded map of the street plans once details are finalized.

Crews will be adjusting manholes and water valves, said Holli Pick, the city's engineering technician. A few valves are hard to adjust, she said, because they're so old. The idea is to remove some of the asphalt that's built up around the valves and manholes, so they will be level with the street when the paving project is finished.

To keep curbs showing above street level, the contractor will grind down a 6-foot wide panel on both sides of some streets before paving begins. That will keep the center of the street higher than the sides, so water can run off into the gutters. And it will help ensure that driveways will blend smoothly into the street once paving is finished.

Most Astoria streets are 22 to 28 feet wide, with an average width of 24 feet, Pick said, and at least 6 inches of concrete or asphalt. She expects grinding to be done on 20 to 30 streets.

"Grinding is an inexpensive way to get the grades we need," Pick said. "If you don't grind, you have to feather the asphalt really thin, and that's not good because it lets rocks get through." She said grinding is usually done on asphalt, but not on concrete.

Additional preparation will be needed for some streets that are in really bad shape, such as Florence Street, which has lots of broken concrete. Pick said the contractor will dig up the concrete, then treat the sub-grade by putting in rock to replace the clay. She said the clay has allowed moisture to accumulate, wreaking havoc on the pavement above.

Irving Avenue, which is especially important because it provides the only alternate route through town if U.S. Highway 30 is shut down, will get special treatment. "In the old days, they just smoothed it out and paved over it," Pick said. This time, the contractor will knock down pavement that has sunk or heaved upward, then put rock back in to stabilize the road bed and provide a smoother ride, she said.

Once the contractor gets far enough ahead with grinding and digging, he'll start paving, Pick said, starting in Alderbrook and paving Astoria's west side last. Depending on the weather, the entire project should be finished by late September.

However, a few streets might have to wait until spring, she said, if there are too many rainy days.

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