Local Voices — February 2024

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Construction – A Complex, Multifaceted Industry

During my career in Contract Surety (Construction Bonds), I have found that most construction projects vary in complexity and scope of work. However, there is one common thread: skilled personnel of the construction trades, design/engineering professionals and a host of other parties must work in collaboration to attain the goal — successful completion of the project.

Based on available public information, Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Contract ID: 0055-0142, Project 1055 (108) “Major Intersection Improvements on US 202/Rte 10 at Rte189” received bids from nine construction companies with Schultz Corporation subsequently being awarded the project as low bidder. The project was designed and engineered by CTDOT professionals. Given it is a publicly financed project (our tax dollars), Schultz was required to post Performance & Payment Bonds. In simple terms, Construction Surety Bonds are financial guarantees ensuring project completion and payments duly owed subcontractors / vendors; construction bonds are not insurance policies. I am confident that the CTDOT District Office retained responsibility for overall project supervision.

Based on bonded projects I have supported over the years, the contract value of approximately $6.5M (based on public bid letting results of 7/21/2021) was not a major point of significance; it was the location and components of the project.

There were many moving parts: realignment of electrical service, road excavation, realignment of traffic patterns, installation of curbing and sidewalks, storm water drainage, grading, traffic lights and pedestrian crosswalk lights, brick crosswalks and medians, base and final course paving, line painting and more. Construction modifications to design/engineering and the possibility of unforeseen subsurface conditions are also inherent to construction projects.  

With worker safety concerns, due to proximity of vehicular traffic, and periodic unfavorable weather conditions, the skilled laborers, project managers, supervisors, company owners remained actively engaged in navigating the project to the goal — successful completion of the project.

I applaud all who worked diligently on the project: the skilled construction trades, CTDOT, Schultz, the Granby Police Department and neighboring police departments, and personnel of other Town of Granby Departments. In my opinion, the delays and detours were inconveniences, direct result of a re-design/engineering plan at a confined space intersection requiring multifaceted improvements.

Curt Johnson

Why aren’t students riding the school buses?

Every day when school is dismissed at Wells Road Elementary School, there is a line of at least 20 cars on Wells Road waiting to pick up the students. This makes it impossible to drive north on Wells Road, as it is difficult to see past them to safely pass.

Now that the threat of COVID is behind us, why aren’t the children riding the bus? We have a bus service in Granby that is not being taken advantage of. The school buses I see are nearly empty.

Can someone enlighten me?

Marilyn Nystrom