The town is close to starting construction on Academy Street after a delay in securing the construction company.
The Cary Town Council on Tuesday awarded a contract to Raleigh-based J.M. Thompson Company to add new instrument-shaped benches, trees and art and to widen the sidewalks on south Academy Street in downtown Cary.
The town hoped to award a contract in early March, but didn’t receive the three offers required by law. Cary had to re-bid the project. Under North Carolina law, the town was free to consider fewer than three offers after soliciting offers a second time.
The town again received two bids. Raleigh-based Fred Smith Company offered to do the project for $6.06 million, while J.M. Thompson offered to do the project for $6.01 million. The town has budgeted $8 million for the project, with some of the funds coming from the 2012 bond referendum.
Construction is now expected to begin in early June, which is only a few weeks later than originally scheduled, said Ted Boyd, Cary’s downtown manager.
“It’s great that we’re able to move forward,” Boyd said.
The town plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony that will stray from the usual hard hat-and-gold shovel routine, he said.
“It will be fun and different,” Boyd said, declining to provide more details or a date.
Cary leaders hope the road changes will complement a park they’re building at the corner of south Academy Street and Dry Avenue, as well as a hotel they’re backing at the corner of Academy and Park streets.
But Academy Street traffic is expected to get worse before it gets better.
Construction crews will make south Academy a one-way street, closing the east side – the side with the post office – first. Construction crews also plan to work on sewer lines at night to lessen the effects on Academy Street houses and businesses.
In other business, the Cary Town Council approved several requests. They include:
▪ A request to annex and rezone 73 acres in west Cary.
▪ A request by Google to erect four huts on town property to use as it installs Google Fiber. The locations haven’t been confirmed.