County DPW commended for Bradt Hollow Road repair

— Photo from the DEC website

The Albany County Department of Public Works was careful not to disturb local bat populations as it worked to realign a small tributary of the Fox Creek.

BERNE — An emergency repair on Bradt Hollow Road in Berne has earned the Albany County Department of Public Works an award from the Capital branch of the American Public Works Association’s New York chapter, to be issued at a Feb. 19 banquet. 

The project was selected as the 2020 Project of the Year in the Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair under-$5 million category. 

According to the application for the award, submitted by DPW Commissioner Lisa Ramundo, a slope failure —  or the inability of a slope to maintain its structure under stress — along Bradt Hollow Road in Berne that was first noticed in January 2020 was deemed an emergency by the county, and the DPW initiated a three-phase construction schedule to address the issue.

Ramundo wrote in the application that obstacles involved the local bat population, the fact that the majority of the land the department needed to work on was privately owned, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application states that all trees were monitored for local bat activity prior to removal, ensuring minimal impact; that community outreach allowed the department to work efficiently and effectively; and that the project was completed with no instances of infection by the coronavirus, which Ramundo attributes to the small crew size and outdoor environment.

The project involved a realignment of a small stream that flows into Fox Creek, the process of which began at the end of last August, and was completed within approximately two weeks, at which point the department could begin slope repair. 

The project was finished on Oct. 9, 2020 and cost the county $57,843, which is over $180,000 less than if the project had been put out to bid, according to DPW projections.

“This number was obtained by calculating the overall cost of the project,” the application reads, “including man-hours, materials, tasks and methods, and comparing the actual cost to the average bid prices received for the same item numbers over the past four years in Albany County’s Unit Bid Prices compilation. 

“This number does not include any margin for overhead,” it reads, “and it could reasonably be assumed that the cost savings on this project was actually fifteen to twenty-five percent higher than stated here.”


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