Get ready for more orange barrels and construction crews. Westerville's annual street rehabilitation project soon will be in full swing.

Get ready for more orange barrels and construction crews. Westerville's annual street rehabilitation project soon will be in full swing.

Westerville City Council recently awarded a $1.3 million contract to Decker Construction Co. to complete "Contract B" of the city's 2014 street work. It involves the most extensive type of road repair done each year by the city, and will include complete street reconstruction, new water lines and sewer and storm drainage improvements on Llewellyn Avenue, Plum Street, Steffan Court and Tradewind Court.

Work is slated to begin in April or May and be completed by Aug. 15.

The city received eight bids at its bid opening -- held March 20 -- ranging from $1,287,848 to $1,539,941. According to the draft of the award, bids were reviewed, "as it relates to price, workload and experience."

Decker Construction's bid of $1,287,848 was the lowest, and offered the most value (at 8 percent below others in consideration) while providing a preferred plan.

City Engineer Susan Banbury told council members April 1 that the combination of Decker's bid and its reputation within the city helped to make the decision.

"Decker has worked extensively in central Ohio," Banbury told council. "They've also worked for the city of Westerville. They successfully completed our 2007 sidewalk program, they completed improvements at Polaris and State Street, and intersection improvements at Worthington and County Line (Road) in 2005."

While council approved the bid unanimously, Councilman Larry Jenkins expressed concerns about the timeliness of past road work, and suggested that many residents are unhappy with the amount of time construction crews spend working near their homes.

"Every year we do this, we always have problems with schedules, where a street gets started -- and because mobilization -- will move on. Sometimes driveways and parts of things don't get finished," he said.

"Are we going to be able to work with this contractor to minimize that?" Jenkins asked Banbury. "Starting something and waiting three weeks for them to come back and have it be finished is a lot to ask residents to do."

Banbury replied with a confident "yes" and said that similar concerns were written into the contract with Decker.

"We've been learning with these projects, and we have some provisions in the contract that restrict the contractor as it relates to how long they can have driveways under construction and not have access for the residents," she said. "I think we'll be successful in that, and there shouldn't be too many complaints from the residents."

Other roadway improvements set to take place in Westerville this year:

* Schrock Road: The city will be reconstructing Schrock Road from Hempstead Road to Pointview Avenue, and will add streetlight improvements from Hempstead Road to Otterbein Avenue.

* Street Rehabilitation Project, Contract C: This phase of the 2014 project will focus on pavement maintenance throughout the city, including asphalt resurfacing, filling cracks, sealing pavement and asphalt rejuvenation. There will also be curb repairs and striping.

* Municipal Building parking lot: The lot behind the Municipal Building, 21 S. State St., will be renovated to add parking spaces and improve circulation, and the city will relocate overhead utilities to underground, while improving draining and lighting and adding a pedestrian-friendly connection to State Street.

* South State Street/Schrock Road: An extension of the improvements completed at State Street and Huber Village Boulevard, this project extends along State Street between King Arthur Boulevard and Sugar Grove Square, and along Schrock Road between Otterbein Avenue and Brooksedge Boulevard.

The project will bury overhead utilities, upgrade sidewalks, install street trees, bike lanes and street lights, and feature improved traffic signal and sign upgrades, city officials said.