This week Tallahassee Reports received several phone calls from citizens who wanted to know why an out-of-town company was paving Springsax Road. Springsax Road is located just off of Spring Hill Road, south of Orange Avenue inside the Tallahassee city limits.
On Friday, an employee of Tallahassee Reports traveled to Springsax Road and verified that an out-of-town company was indeed paving Sprinsax Road. In addition to the road paving equipment, with the company name of Asphalt Paving Systems painted on the side, there were approximately 20-25 workers on site.
A search of the Talgov website reveals that on August 28, 2013 the City Commission voted 5-0 to award a contract in the amount of $518,169.60 to Asphalt Paving Systems (APS). The contract called for APS to pave Springsax Road and a portion of Maclay Blvd. in northeast Tallahassee.
The agenda item presented to the City Commission states that APS is located in Zephyrhills, Fl., just outside of Tampa. However, Tallahassee Reports has learned that APS is headquartered in Hammonton, New Jersey. Their website indicates that most of their work is completed in the northeast, however APS does have an office in Zephyrhills.
The agenda item also indicates that APS was the sole bidder for the project. The amount of money allocated to this project accounts for approximately 20% of the City’s yearly road paving budget.
Why use APS, an out-of-state vendor? City staff explained in the agenda item that:
“The use of the cold-in-place technique is appropriate for these two locations as each of these locations have road base deficiencies, which must be addressed during the resurfacing project. This cold-in-place technique is a specialty technique requiring the use of specialized equipment that mills the existing asphalt and base to an average depth of 6”, injects a rejuvenating agent, and lays the mixed material back down and compacts it to provide an improved roadway base. A layer of new asphalt material is then applied over the repaired base. This cold-in-place process is not available from local contractors.”
Tallahassee asked a City official in the public works department to give an example of where and when this “cold-in-place” technique has been used in Tallahassee in the past. The official indicated that he did not think the process had been previously used in Tallahassee and if had, he could not recall a location.
The official also verified that workers on the project were from out of town.
Further research by Tallahassee Reports has found that local contractors could have milled and paved both roads for approximately $350,000.
Check back for updates on this story.