INDEPENDENCE — The Independence City Council approved awarding contracts to two capital improvement projects at their June 22 meeting.

The first was $1.46 million to Bent, LLC to replace the F Street Bridge, which includes a 10% contingency built into the budget. The second was $732,597 to Santiam Paving Company for repaving and water system improvement on main street. It, too, carried a 10% contingency.

City Manager Tom Pessemier said the F Street Bridge project was a long time coming, as the city applied for a grant with the state of Oregon Local Agency Fund in 2015. That grant was awarded in October 2018, with the state giving the go ahead to proceed in September of 2019.

As part of the city’s capital improvement plan, Pessemier said the F Street Bridge replacement will accommodate larger loads for trucks and other traffic while alleviating traffic flow through 7th Street over time.

Once the grant money was secured, the city’s request for bids returned five offers, with Scio-based Bent, LLC, the low bid. Pessemier said there is no construction schedule yet but expects it to probably begin sometime in August and take between 6-8 months.

“I’m thrilled to see this one done,” Mayor John McArdle said. “This is one I know that has been worked on by staff and a number of people for a long, long, long, loooong, time.”

The task of repaving Main Street and making improvements to the underlying water system from City Hall to Independence Bridge went to the lone bidder of Santiam Paving Company.

Pessemier told counselors the city tends to do utilities, if it can, at the same time when tackling repaving projects.

“The last thing we want to go do is go back and tear up pavement,” he said. “We only got one bid. But the good news is it was 10% under engineer’s estimate.”

However, he added, it could present a significant impact to traffic, as the road is not very wide. The project again has an estimated August time frame and will be done half a direction at a time, making traffic one way for a while.

“The water work will probably come first,” he added. “We’ll try to get it in as soon as can.”

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