Rising costs: Kettering road projects come in 29% higher than budgeted

Much of Ohio 48 in Kettering was repaved last year. The city will be paying about $2.81 million combined for two road and traffic projects, more than a 29% increase from earlier estimates. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Much of Ohio 48 in Kettering was repaved last year. The city will be paying about $2.81 million combined for two road and traffic projects, more than a 29% increase from earlier estimates. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

City approves $640,000 extra to get work done, cites inflation, labor shortages

Two long-term Kettering road and traffic projects this year will cost the city about $2.81 million combined, more than a 29% increase from earlier estimates.

Contractors said higher bids for work on Forrer Boulevard and Stroop Road are due mainly to labor shortages and rises in fuel and material costs, Kettering Assistant City Manager Steve Bergstresser said.

“It kind of goes hand in hand with the across-the-board inflation we’re seeing in the economy right now,” he said.

Work to improve Forrer from Woodman Drive to Smithville Road was budgeted at $1.975 million, but the lowest of four bids was $2.473 million, records show.

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A traffic signal upgrade at West Stroop and Southern Boulevard was projected to cost $200,000, and the lone proposal came in at $341,643.

The additional money for both projects was approved by Kettering City Council earlier this week.

Labor shortages among road contractors has “been an ongoing issue for a number of years now,” Bergstresser said. “But it’s made worse by the state of the job market.”

The Forrer work will be started by Barrett Paving Inc. likely in May or June, he said. Lane closures and traffic delays are expected, according to the city.

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“As of right now we intend to maintain traffic,” Bergstresser said. “On the east end of the project between Culver and Woodman we’re going to be removing all of the underlying pavement in that area.”

The work includes repairing deteriorated curbs, sidewalks and drive approaches, “full-depth pavement replacement” in sections, and asphalt resurfacing, city records show.

Work is targeted for completion by the end of this year or spring 2023, Bergstresser said.

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The Stroop/Southern traffic signal work by Capital Electric may start this summer but is expected to take a couple of years to complete, he said.

Crews will rebuild the intersection’s traffic signal, installing new mast arm poles, equipment, and fiber optic cables, according to city documents.

“There will certainly be lane closures from time to time ... but no significant traffic impact,” Bergstresser said.

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