Penn Forest Township Chairman and Roadmaster Paul Montemuro met with eight contractors Monday, for a pre-bid meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the requirements of a road paving and swale construction project.

After assembling at the Penn Forest Municipal Building, Montemuro led the eight contractors out on a short trip to show them the exact locations and roads needing work. These roads are Church Road from its intersection with State Road 903 for 2,613 ft; Short Road, which lies between Unionville Rd and Stony Creek Road and Stony Creek Road from its intersection with Short Road, for a distance of 1,626 ft.

The most difficult part of the job will be the Stony Creek Bridge in the middle of Stony Creek Road. The bridge's stone foundation means that it has a five ton weight limit. Contractors cannot drive their equipment over the bridge, and will have to drive around to finish the other side of the road.

Church Road and Short Road are two of the busiest roads in Penn Forest Township. They serve as shortcuts and entry-points for the various developments that make up the bulk of the townships residents.

The paving projects will require the closing of Short Road and Stony Creek Road for at least a day. Church Road will be reduced to one lane.

The project must be finished by August 31. Montemuro predicts that it will take four days maximum. "This is a small job," he said. "All of the bidders are big companies, companies that do highways and turnpikes, so it won't be hard for them."

Eight bidders was a high number for a project like this. Montemuro said three or four bidders is more average. He attributed the high turnout to the economy, "in this economy everyone is bidding everything," he said.

There are several reasons to conduct a pre-bid meeting. The first is that it allows all interested parties to be on the same page. Contractors can learn exactly what the Roadmaster wants done and exactly what the roads look like.

A pre-bid meeting is also an opportunity for the roadmaster to receive input from the contractors. For example, during the meeting it was decided that because of traffic volume, Church Road should be paved in two passes instead of one as originally intended.

The companies bidding for the Penn Forest Township Road Paving job are: Slusser Bros., Shiffer Bituminous Service, Locust Ridge, Livengood Excavators, Barletta Materials and Construction Inc., Papillone and Moyer and Hanson Aggr.