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Highland riverfront park bids opened

May 30th, 2012

Matt Smith and a dedicated band of volunteers are working to develop the Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park. Together, they are pursuing the singular mission of turning a once private oil terminal into a public recreational park, right at the waters edge of the Hudson River.

Recently, the project took a giant leap forward with the opening of bids for work and the group has been itching to begin a new steel bulkhead to run the front face of the park; wing wall work; a boat launch, a rebuilt dock and work along the north point area of the park, to name a few of the key items.

A first round of bids was rejected because the cost estimates came in too high. This time around the park work was broken out into six separate parts, which will allow Smith and the group the opportunity to have the company that is awarded the bid do all or some of the work, but they cannot have one company do a few items and another pick up the remainder.

Arold Construction of Kingston bid $1.2 million; C.D.Perry from Albany bid $1.4 million; J.T. Cleary, from Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., bid $1.97 million and Parrott Dockbuilders of Newburgh bid $1.3 million.

Smith said each of the bids will be reviewed and evaluated by Ray Jurkowski, of Morris Associates, for their accuracy and the company’s qualifications will be checked. A recommendation will then be made to the Town Board, which will actually award the bid. Then the required insurance and bonding is done on the company chosen, followed by the actual signing of contracts. Jurkowski estimates this round of paperwork will take a month to complete and “if all goes well,” actual work will commence at the park in July.

As the bid process was underway, construction continued at the brick building at the park, which will eventually become the Environmental Learning Center. Smith said Chris Erichsen and his crew recently installed an Arco Air natural gas condensing heating and air conditioning furnace, along with the proper duct work, in the attic and ceiling of the building.

“Today we hooked up some of the flex lines, the trunk duct and some of the flex lines out to the meeting area,” said Erichsen.

Erichsen said he will return after the ceiling is installed to attach several diffusers, which directs the air outward into the room. He said the unit he installed has a 9 percent efficiency rating, which is expected to use very little fuel to run. He was able to use plastic PVC piping for the chimney rather than metal because the unit vents at approximately 100 degrees, which is three times less heat than comes from conventional units. Smith pointed out that the building will also have cell foam insulation installed that will greatly add to the overall energy efficiency of the building.

By Mark Reynolds

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