Dig, pave, excavate, repave - 400 North gets complicated
Citing construction delays and the arrival of the winter season, Price City has canceled the contract of a sewer line project and will wait until the spring time before the rest of the project can be completed.
At a Price City council meeting last week, councilors voted unanimously to cancel the contract for the project from Silver Spur Construction LLC, of Draper, after it became clear the project could not be completed on the original set deadline.
Russell Seeley, city engineer, said about a year ago the city awarded Silver Spur the bid for the division of water quality project. That project started in February and involved strictly replacing sewer lines within the city. There was also money to do a project with the division of drinking water which involved replacing water lines throughout the city. The sewer and water line projects were separate contracts.
The city had funding from the Community Impact Board to replace the sewer and water lines and needed to use the money before it went away, Seeley said.
"Because of the timing of those funds, we had to get started," Seeley said.
The sewer line project was then put out to bid by the city. The lowest bid was not taken by the city due to some controversy with the bidder, Seeley said. The second lowest bid was Silver Spur. Seeley said they discussed the project with Silver Spur which included the workload and the timing of both projects, which Silver Spur said they could complete.
The project was awarded to Silver Spur on June 4 with a completion date set for Nov. 17. The deadline was then extended for one week to Nov. 24 when some of the details of the sewer line work were changed by the city, Seeley said.
Seeley said the project was not able to be completed by the Nov. 24 deadline, which included three sewer mains that had not been finished.
"The city recognized this over two weeks ago and told Silver Spur not to do any additional work and to finish up the work they were already doing," Seeley said.
Since then, Silver Spur has been able to close up some trenches and was able to get in some paving work in the Crestview area. There is still a significant amount of work that needs to be done on 400 N near Washington Park, Seeley said.
With time running out on completing the project as the winter season rapidly approaches, Seeley said it was in the best interests of the city to cancel the project.
"Winter time presents lots of problems for construction," Seeley said. "There is uncertain weather and the cold makes it very difficult to pave. This slows down the project in the winter time and makes construction very difficult and expensive."
The delays in the project were brought about by the contractor, Seeley said. He stated that with the division of water quality project Silver Spur was fell behind schedule. Silver Spur pulled some of its crews off of the other project to help finish it but, because of this, the CIB project was left untouched for about a month which really put them behind.
"We're at the point where we need to end the project and finish up what's going on," Seeley said.
In order to finish the project, the city would take the remaining funds from the project and put together a new project, take bids with construction to begin in the spring. The deadline for the CIB is in May.
Because the project involved digging into the ground and the uncertainly of what could be encountered along the way, Seeley said some flexibility is given to a contractor in a scenario like this.
"There is a certain flexibility that you have to grant because we are digging in the ground and we don't really know what we're going to encounter," Seeley said. "We're had our fair share of surprises, but there was a whole month where no work was done."
Councilwoman Jeanne McEvoy asked about the road's condition and what the city was going to do with winter approaching. Seeley explained that paving work would be starting this week on 400 North.
"We want to make sure that everything is finished and complete and all buttoned up so we don't leave any loose ends," he said.
Seeley said that Silver Spur brought out extra work crews to handle the work load in dealing with the water lines near the USU-CEU and Carbon High School campuses, which had to be completed before school started. Seeley said they completed the work very quickly as they were required, but he did not see much work after that.
Councilman Jeff Nielson asked whether the 60 percent of the work completed was satisfactory or not. Seeley stated that Silver Spur has done a decent job, with some complaints about traffic control and patches on the street. The water and sewer lines are working correctly.
"The main concern against the work is that it has taken much longer than planned," Seeley said.
Nielson also asked if the division of water quality project was completed. Other than a few punch list items, the project is very close to being complete, Seeley said.
With the project being bid out again, Nielson asked if this would cost the city more money. Seeley said that Silver Spur has purchased a lot of the pipe that they were going to install in the project. The city would buy the pipe from them at cost and the contractor who gets awarded the project would then be given the pipe from the city to be used on the project.
The contract for the projects are set up so that a contractor will not make more money than the work they have already done, Seeley said. For example, they would be paid for the amount of asphalt used on the project and the tons of material they bring out.
"You never know what you're going to get with a new bid," Seeley stated. "I think it's in the city's best interest to rebid those streets even if it is a bit extra or more than what we're paying Silver Spur right now."
City Attorney Nick Sampinos asked what the response was from the contractor about the possible termination. Seeley said that Silver Spur requested that the project be suspended until the spring time when it can be finished.
Mayor Joe Piccolo asked how much money is still left on the contract. Seeley said that they are still tabulating everything but that about 60 percent of the project is completed, which is a projection based upon funds that the project entailed.
According to Seeley when the current work is finished, 100 percent of the water project will be completed. Only the sewer work will remain which will have about 40 percent of the sewer funds remaining.
Mayor Piccolo said that the council must be notified if the funds for the project exceeds the remaining amount left from the sewer line work.
"Any detail that goes over 40 percent should be revealed to this council for permission to spend it," Piccolo said.
Sampinos said he reviewed the contract and the proposal of termination and said the city has the legal justification to terminate the contract.
The Sun Advocate attempted to contact Silver Spur but they were unavailable for comment before press time.