Price underground improvements are a race against time
Sewer and water line projects within Price City, delayed by the winter season and missed contractor deadlines, will resume later this month.
The project, which began last year, was not fully completed at the deadline last November and had to be put on hold until the end of the winter season.
The work on both sewer and water lines must be completed by the end of May when the funding from the Community Impact Board expires, according to Russell Seeley, Price City engineer. The project is budgeted for $600,000 with money from the CIB in the form of a loan. With the funds for the project expiring at the end of May, Seeley said the city had to get a jump on this.
"Time is not on our side as everything must be done by the end of May," Seeley said. "We're never anxious to return money to the CIB, so we want to use every bit that we can."
Last week, the Public Works Department opened bids for the project and on Wednesday the city council voted unanimously to award the project to Nelco Construction, who submitted a bid of $381,000.
Councilwoman Jeanne McEvoy said she was surprised that many of the bids that were submitted for the projects came in much lower than what the engineers estimated.
"It's a competitive market," Seeley said. "It's hard to pin down a good estimate because prices are fluctuating and contractors are eager to have something to do."
The CIB funding is broken into two parts, water funds and sewer funds. The project utilizes funds left over from last year's project that was not finished, Seeley said.
With the bid from Nelco Construction, which does not include engineering fees, and the available funds for the project, the city has a cushion allowing them to look into the possibility of extra work within the city when the project is completed. The leftover funding can also be used if any complications arise during the work.
One part of the project was started last year as Silver Spur Construction, LLC, of Draper, was awarded a Division of Water Quality project that strictly involved 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. Silver Spur also put in a bid for the division of drinking water project and were awarded the bid. Seeley said the city discussed the issue with Silver Spur about the extra workload and the time line of the project, 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 the project was not able to be completed by the Nov. 24 deadline, which included three sewer mains that had not been finished.
During a city council meeting in November, Seeley said it was in the best interests of the city to cancel the project citing the winter weather.
"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."
One of the major focuses of the project will be the maintenance and condition of the streets, Seeley said. Councilwoman Kathy Hanna-Smith brought up the problem with the previous work and how some streets were left in disrepair. She asked if some of the money left over from the previous project could be put towards repairing the streets, citing complaints from residents that the streets in the 400 S. and 700 E. area are in bad shape. Gary Sonntag, Price City Public Works director, said that area is where work on a separate project with the Division of Water Quality was undertaken. While the projects are unrelated, Seeley said that is something that can be looked at as the project is nearing completion. The best way to repair a road would be to reconstruct it with an overlay, Seeley said.
"A patch is a patch. Some patches are better than other patches, but a patch is still a patch," he said.
If a road is repaired first, Seeley said the city would not want to have a good road over an old, failing water or sewer main. "We would want to get the infrastructure under the road upgraded before resurfacing," he said.
Mayor Joe Piccolo said the city could possibly look at the issues with streets in a much larger project, much like the water and sewer projects, going through and repairing them all at one time, he said.
The project is about 30 percent away from being completed, Seeley said. Construction is not limited to one or two places as much of the work is scattered around the city, he said.
Construction on the sewer and water lines is scheduled to start later this month, Seeley said.