2018-02-22 / Front Page

Council awards $419,360 bid to fix parking lot


Overhauling the municipal parking lot at East Ferry took the next step Tuesday night with the town council’s unanimous decision to hire Cardi Corporation as the contractor.

The winning bid from Cardi was $419,360, more than $18,000 less than the runner-up. The third contractor tapped for a bid submitted an estimate of $560,000 to complete the work.

According to Town Engineer Mike Gray, the project will be broken into two phases so work doesn’t interfere with tourist season. The first phase, which culminates May 4, will be followed by a four-month hiatus. Work is expected to reconvene two weeks after Labor Day.

The design phase for the parking lot included a lengthy debate about whether to reconfigure the lot. While business owners at Ferry Wharf defended the time-tested traffic pattern, landscape designers proposed a different look that would make the “gateway to the village” more welcoming to visitors. In the end, the sides decided on a hybrid plan that kept the traffic pattern while making beautification enhancements.

To accommodate a narrow stretch of grass with benches along the water, the width of the travel lane from curb-to-curb will be 62 feet. The parking spaces on each side extend 18 feet into the lane, which leaves the aisle width at 24 feet. The zoning ordinance requires 23 feet for two-way traffic, but the parking lot is only one way. There will be three entrances from the parking lot to the sitting area along Narragansett Bay.

Financing the project, which initially was estimated to cost $300,000, will include a $65,000 state grant for landscaping, crosswalk, stone benches and paving. The remaining money will come from the waterfront reserve, which is funded by the leases from the three marinas.

The bid includes removing and disposing of existing curbs and sidewalks, installing granite curbing, constructing sidewalks and handicap ramps, installing draining structures and pipes, installing stamped and colored concrete crosswalks, building a retaining wall made from field stone, installing lighting, removing existing asphalt, installing new paving, striping the lot, erecting regulatory signage, refurbishing concrete posts and curbs along the seawall, and repairing stone damage to the seawall.

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