City Saving On Street-Sealing Projects

POCATELLO, Idaho - Construction season is on its way, and the city of Pocatello is preparing.

This year, the city's roads will be less torn up, and Street Operations will be saving some money, but that's not without some adjustments.

Drivers aren't the only ones groaning at high gas prices. Oil is a major ingredient in some of the products used by Street Operations.

"We've experienced about a 10 percent increase on some of our products, not all of our products," said Streets Superintendent Randy Ghezzi.

Ghezzi asked the Pocatello City Council for $47,000 for fog seal materials, and the price is up ten percent from last year.

While that price pinch is painful, there is good news, too. Street Operations is coming to the council for cost approval early this year, because Ghezzi is locking down some deals. Pocatello is piggybacking on Bingham County's 2011 bid for asphalt and another bid for slurry seal.

"The piggyback bid is when a company will honor their price from the previous year. It's very positive. Those are the prices that are locked in and remain constant, so that was a big savings for the city," Ghezzi said.

It'll end up costing just more than $500,000, and Ghezzi said, if the city hadn't gotten this deal, the price would have definitely gone up.

"Yes, they've seen a significant rise, in order of 25 to 30 percent in some cases," Ghezzi said.

The city has a $900,000 budget for the entire season and will be treating 85 streets for a total of 22.5 center lane miles. Ghezzi's glad he's beating the price hike.

"It helps everybody, gives everybody a great deal," he said.

Another silver lining: Pocatello Engineer Deirdre Castillo said there are no major construction projects slated for the city this season. All of her department's big projects are just in the planning stages at this point, she said.

Check out where city crews will be working on the Street Operations' website and plan a headache-free commute.

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