CB 11 cites parkway contractor concerns

CB 11 cites parkway contractor concerns
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

Pelham Parkway’s recent Phase 1 reconstruction was not paved with gold, or any other quality roadway surfacing material, according to Community Board 11, and it is raising concerns about the contractor that was selected to work on the second phase.

The board is up in arms after learning that the contractor they believe did the shoddy parkway paving job in Phase 1 won the bid to do Phase 2 as well.

That phase involves the rehabilitation of the north side of the parkway from Stillwell Avenue, westbound to White Plains Road.

Tony Vitaliano, CB 11 chairman, said that the work that contractor CAC Industries completed on Phase 1 was subpar.

He and other members do not believe that taxpayer funds should be used to finance another city contract performed by the same company, he said.

“Nobody is happy about this,” said Vitaliano about CAC’s selection for Phase 2. “They did shabby work, and the Department of Design and Construction knew it.”

Vitaliano pointed out that the asphalt paving on the eastbound Pelham Parkway south side cracked shortly after the competition of the Phase 1 reconstruction.

The roadway problem was evident six weeks following the completion of Phase 1, said John Fratta, CB 11’s project liaison.

It was so bad, said Fratta, that Councilman James Vacca intervened after the work received negative media coverage and got DDC to agree to include the repaving of the two southern Pelham Parkway roadways that were rebuilt in Phase 1 into the Phase 2 contract.

“My thing is if a contractor does a lousy job in part A of a job, and you have to award a contract anyway for the north side, why go with the (contractor) who did the lousy job in the first place,” said Fratta, adding of Phase 1: “In my opinion, the roadway was substandard.”

Pelham Parkway’s Phase 1 Reconstruction, which had been anticipated along with Phase 2 for three decades, cost tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, said Fratta.

“We would like the contract to be voided,” said Fratta of CAC’s new contract, adding that they have reached out to Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office and asked him to examine the issue.

Vacca said he would like to hear the city’s explanation as to why they selected CAC Industries to work on Phase 2.

Michael Capasso, CAC Industries president, said he works with community boards all over the city and was not aware of any issues with the project in terms of quality.

He said the culture of his company is to work with the community, so if the board has concerns, he would be happy to meet and speak with them.

A DDC spokesman stated that the agency is confident in the contractor’s ability to complete Phase 2 successfully.

“All proper procurement rules were followed in awarding this contract,” stated DDC’s spokesman. “CAC was the second lowest out of seven bidders, however the lowest bidder subsequently withdrew its bid.”

A spokeswoman from Stringer’s office confirmed that they have been in contact with members of CB 11 and will review the contract when it comes to their office.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.