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MERCER COUNTY Officials look at bridge plan



Published: Wed, January 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county was prepared to impose sanctions.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

MERCER, Pa. -- The contractor replacing the Oakland Avenue Viaduct in Sharon met the deadline for submitting a corrective plan for the new structure, but whether that plan is acceptable remains to be seen.

The 300-foot span is a Mercer County bridge, and county commissioners had warned Carmen Paliotta Contracting of Library, Pa., that it had to submit a plan to correct a misalignment problem by 4:30 p.m. Tuesday or face contract sanctions.

Paliotta demolished the old bridge in spring 2001 and was to have the new one finished n November 2001, but inspectors discovered the deck of the structure was out of alignment as much as 3 inches and had a slight s curve.

The county ordered work to be stopped at that point and suspended the $3.6 million contract while Paliotta determined if the misalignment would shorten the life of the span and what corrective action might be taken.

Preparing letter

The contract suspension left the company with 55 days to complete the job, and the commissioners were prepared to send Paliotta a letter today telling the company that the 55-day countdown would begin immediately because the company had failed to comply with a demand that a corrective action plan be submitted by the end of 2002.

The letter also was to carry a warning that, if the job wasn't done within the 55 days, the company would be fined $650 for each additional day required to complete the work.

The county bridge department, however, reported that it received a fax copy of a plan late Tuesday afternoon from a construction management company representing Paliotta.

That means a plan was submitted by the deadline. The county and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation both must review that plan to determine if it is acceptable.

Paliotta had proposed in November that the misalignment can be corrected by jacking up the structural steel support arches, placing metal "shim plates" atop the concrete pedestals, and then lowering the arches back onto the pedestals.

Both the county and the state accepted that idea but wanted Paliotta to prepare a final plan showing a timeline and details of exactly how that would be done.

gwin@vindy.com




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