Redevelopment Commission has put a rough price on the delay of the East
Porter Ave. culvert project caused earlier this summer by Frontier
Communications’ failure to procure in a timely fashion the materials needed
to re-locate a pair of utility lines.
At its meeting
Monday night, the commission voted unanimously to approve an extension of
its construction inspection contract with Lawson-Fisher Associates. The cost
of that contract: not to exceed $17,003. The reason for the extension: “an
additional 188 hours of effort (estimated at 24 hours per week for seven
weeks) to complete the project,” according to a Lawson-Fisher memo to Town
Engineer Mark O’Dell.
O’Dell, for his
part, told the commission that “a significant amount”--though by no means
the entirety--of the $17,000 can be attributed to delays specifically caused
by Frontier’s failure to re-locate the utility lines before work began on
the culvert. “There were other construction delays too,” he noted, as well
as bad weather.
The fact remains,
though, that Frontier’s casual approach to the re-location forced general
contractor Grimmer Construction Inc. of Highland to postpone deliveries of
materials and then to re-schedule a crane rental. Members accordingly asked
Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson to investigate whether there is any
way for the commission to recoup from Frontier some part of the $17,000.
Paulson promised to look into the matter.
advised of the need to re-locate the two lines in November 2017 and was
further advised in March of this year to begin the procurement process for
the materials required. But by July--just a few weeks before the town’s DNR
permit to perform work in a salmonid stream was set to expire--Frontier did
not yet have the materials on hand. That permit was later extended to Aug.
reported that, if all goes well--“fingers crossed,” as he put it--the
project could be completed and East Porter Ave. re-opened to traffic in the
first week of October. “The contractor is working really diligently,” O’Dell
said. “The guardrails will be installed later this week. And Walsh & Kelly
is set to put a surface coat on the roadway.”