The Caldwell Council decided Tuesday to seek bids to replace multiple water mains although the borough is likely to be short funds.
The borough engineer’s initial estimates to replace water mains under five borough roads led the council to bond $975,000 for the project in 2012. An outside engineering firm later estimated the work would likely cost $1.5 million.
The bid for the Brookside Avenue portion of the project, which is slated to start next week, was awarded to Matina and Sons for $566,000, according to Borough Administrator Paul Carelli.
This leaves just over $400,000, which will not cover the cost of completing the other roads in the project—Gould Place, Knollwood Terrace, Cedars Road and Overlook Road.
The borough hopes the bidding process will give a better picture of what the project will actually cost.
Carelli said for “economy of scale” it would be better to do all the work at once if possible.
“We should go out to bid and we’ll know exactly what it will cost,” he said.
Councilman John Coyle, chairman of the public works committee, said the governing body should move forward with the project to replace the aging infrastructure.
“All this work should have been done quite some time ago,” Coyle said.
He added that not only do the pipes need to be replaced, but the roads are deteriorated and need to be paved.
The town engineer used linear feet to come up with the estimates, Carelli said, adding that soft costs, or expenses outside the construction itself, may account for at least some of the disparity.