Engineering firm hired for major road reconstruction project in Mattapoisett
Mattapoisett — On Wednesday night Mattapoisett Selectmen approved an engineering firm to work on the $4.5 million reconstruction of Main Street, Water Street, Beacon Street and Marion Road.
VHB was chosen from six candidates who applied to work on the 25 percent design required as part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Transportation Improvement Plan.
“I’m very optimistic. I think we moved at the right time,” said Town Administrator Mike Gagne.
The project is ranked on the statewide TIP for fiscal year 2020, but if other towns ahead of Mattapoisett fail to complete a long list of requirements in time, Mattapoisett could get moved up the line.
Gagne, Highway Surveyor Barry Denham and Mattapoisett-based Field Engineering chose VHB because of its background in such projects.
“They haven’t steered us wrong on any other project we’ve worked on. When they tell me something, I listen,” Denham said.
Selectman Jordan Collyer, however, had some questions in light of a bike path project VHB worked on in the early 2000s.
“I’ve got a sour taste in my mouth. It doesn’t mean I’m not willing to give you a shot,” he said.
Collyer said the bike path project ended up going over budget and the “scope wasn’t clearly understood.”
“I was less than pleased with the overall performance of customer service,” he said.
Jamie Pisano and Joe Wanat of VHB both apologized for any problems in the past and said they were excited to work on the road project.
“The scope is crystal clear,” Wanat said. “You’re not going to have any sort of gray area at all.”
Denham was unaware of any issues in the past and said the bike path design is a good one.
Additionally, it was emphasized that Field Engineering Project Manager Jon Connell would monitor costs for the project.
Selectmen voted unanimously to hire VHB for the service.