Redesign during the early phase of Helper's infrastructure rebuilding has trimmed a few hundred thousand dollars from the cost, while other changes have added to the planned expense.
Nevertheless, the overall reduction in the massive project is around $240,000, according to Franson Civil Engineers, the firm overseeing the work.
Engineer Chad Brown told the city council last week that the cost of Area One east of Highway 6 was reduced by about $350,000 by redesign. However, change orders - some of them having to do with the city's river restoration plan - added about $180,000. The savings still net $170,000, Brown said.
Area Four, on the west side of the highway near Helper Junior High, showed a net reduction of about $70,000.
The river restoration work involves environmental protection and enhancement work intended to transform the Price River from a straight channel into a recreational centerpiece.
One such enhancement, an oil-water separator, involves extra construction. A deep concrete barrier, something like a dam, diverts the flowing water downward. Oil, being lighter, does not follow the water under the barrier. Meanwhile, sand particles get trapped at the bottom of the detour because they are heavier and tend to stay down.
The result is cleaner water, with some added maintenance expense for routine cleanout. The city stands to recoup the expense from potential environmental quality grants associated with the river improvements.
Additional savings are likely to happen in reconstruction at the Castle Gate subdivision, Brown said. Work done in that area several years ago has added about 20 to 25 years of life to the system, he explained.