Townville culvert

Pictured is the current West Freemont Street culvert in Townville that was deemed structurally deficient. This culvert will be replaced with a new box culvert by Ray Showman Jr. Excavating, after that company was awarded the bid Monday night.

TOWNVILLE — At a special meeting Monday night, the Townville Borough council opened seven sealed bids, and awarded the project to the lowest bidder, for the replacement of the West Freemont Street Culvert No.1.

According to the council, this was the first bid opening for the borough in 25 years.

The borough council accepted the low bid from Ray Showman Jr. Excavating in the amount of $146,304.64.

Of the seven bids, there were three in the low bid range, one from Northrock Construction for $159,827 and another from Heckman Diversified Construction for $156,636. The high bid was from Konzel Construction in Erie for $249,148. Three of the seven bids were over $200,000.

All seven bids had the mandated 10% bid bonds, and all either met Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) pre-qualified standards or met borough standards.

Josh Manuel, a borough councilman, said that while he had not seen any of Ray Showman Jr. Excavating roadwork, he had seen some of their site work, and that it has “all been top notch.”

Mark J. Corey, of Mark J. Corey & Associates, a consulting engineering service firm, presided over the meeting and helped the borough through the process. Corey is the project engineer.

Speaking to the number of bids, Corey said, “to have seven (bids) is good for the borough.” He also said that he expects a “later fall” construction date. The project has an Oct. 31 deadline.

The current culvert, which is almost a small stone bridge that runs under West Freemont Street, is estimated by the borough to have been built in the 1930s or 1940s.

After being deemed structurally deficient, the borough applied for Act 13 funds for the replacement project. The borough applied for $120,000, but was only awarded $60,000. After being classified as deficient, the borough looked at applying for the funds. “We would rather be proactive than reactive,” said Manuel.

The new culvert will be an aluminum structural box culvert. The project will also include the tearing out of sidewalk near the culvert, and the replacement of guide rails.

The culvert is currently near both gas lines and power lines, but according to Corey, both National Fuel and Penelec have said that they are willing to move their lines and work with the borough.

The hope is that the culvert may be able to be constructed near the installment site, but not have to be built on the road. All involved in the project want the street to be closed for as short a period of time as possible. “Hopefully there is limited inconvenience,” said Corey.

The next step for the project is for the contractor to be notified, and get the pipe ordered. The project needs to be completed before it starts getting too cold to pave, which happens sometime in November.

Dvorkin can be reached by email at

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