October 4, 2011
Suit-Kote gets flood cleanup contracts
Company working on 4 projects in Southern Tier worth $2.1 million
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Suite-Kote road crew workers this summer brush off a newly resurfaced portion of Main Street in downtown Cortland. The paving company has received emergency contracts to repair culverts and bridges in the Southern Tier after the recent flooding. The additional work will extend the company’s season and has meant more employment for seasonal workers.
Suit-Kote Corp.. has been awarded four emergency projects in the flood-ravaged Southern Tier worth a total of $2.1 million.
The state Department of Transportation projects will extend the employment of seasonal employees and create more jobs, said Frank Suits, president of the Cortlandville-based company.
“We’re going to rehire some seasonal employees and extend the seasons for many other employees,” he said.
All four projects involve repairing damage caused by Tropical Storm Lee.
Two of the projects call for scour repair. The other two will repair or replace culverts.
Scour is caused by fast-moving water around the piers or abutments of a bridge.
It erodes the sand and sediment from a river bed, threatening the safety of the bridge. Scour is one of the main causes of bridge collapse in the United States.
The four projects are:
l A project to repair scour in Chenango County, worth $900,000.
l A project to repair scour beneath the Interstate 88 and Interstate 81 interchange, worth $300,000.
l A culvert repair or replacement in Tioga County on Route 17, worth $400,000.
l A project to replace a culvert lining on I-81 in Broome County worth $500,000.
Suit-Kote will also be hiring up to 50 more employees from the Cortland area in anticipation of increased demand next spring.
“We’ve acquired more equipment which will expand our capacity, especially through the Southern Tier and northern Pennsylvania,” Suits said.
Working on a shorter schedule for the additional projects this fall won’t be a problem, Suits said. The only thing he is worried about is more rain.
“The only thing that would inhibit us would be more heavy rain since we’ll be working on structures that manage the flow of water,” he said.
In emergency situations like this, the bidding and contracting process is much quicker than usual, said Carol Breen, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
“It’s a lot like the normal process except it’s very condensed,” she said. “Usually we advertise it for about a month, analyze the bids and then put out the contract.”
It was not immediately clear who would pay for the projects and whether federal aid would be involved.
The bids were put online around Sept. 23 and the contractors’ bids were due by the following Tuesday.
The lowest bid received the contract said Tom Wiser, the construction engineer for the Binghamton Region.
The combination of the heavy rain and end of the construction season means the jobs have to be done quickly, he said. Suit-Kote’s contract calls for all four jobs to be completed within 60 days.
“It’s not like 2006 when it flooded in June and we had the whole season to work on repairs,” Wiser said.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe