Contract awarded for ramp demolition

A Michigan-based company has been awarded a contract for the demolition of Oil City’s condemned parking ramp.

Venango County commissioner Timothy Brooks said Thursday that Homrich Wrecking’s $723,000 bid has been selected out of the pool of six submissions that were opened two weeks ago.

Brooks said Homrich Wrecking now has 10 business days to submit a plan that meets the requirements of the project.

After review, and once the contract is signed by the company and the county, Brooks said a notice to proceed can be sent out to get the project underway. That is expected to take place by around the end of the month.

Brooks said interior work will be the first priority, and the visible portion of the demolition should start before the end of the year.

The second part of the project includes site restoration work to prepare for the construction of a multimodal transportation hub.

Brooks said that element will likely take place in early spring.

The project’s steering committee, made up of local and regional stakeholders, is still weighing options behind the scenes on where the proposed transportation facility will be placed.

Initial plans called for the $11.3 million structure to be placed on the site of the parking garage that was closed in September 2011 by Oil City Council due to weather-related damage and usage problems.

However, a new idea has been introduced in recent months that would involve putting the hub where the current PennDOT parking lot is located across from the parking structure.

Troy Truax, a project manager with Michael Baker International of Pittsburgh, is guiding the planning process.

The engineering, planning and consulting firm was awarded a $230,000 contract in March by PennDOT to develop a master plan for the site.

PennDOT also is under contract with JMT, an engineering and architectural firm with offices in Pittsburgh, for the design of the demolition and other services.

The demolition is a $180,000 work order under that contract, and it includes designing the demolition, preliminary plan specifications, environmental and demolition permitting, project advertisement and providing technical assistance to the county.

Brooks said Homrich Wrecking will need to work out specifics with JMT about how exactly the structure will be taken down.

Those discussions will ultimately determine what type of effect the project will have on traffic in downtown Oil City once work begins, Brooks said.