Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton TIF board puts very rough price on culvert project delays $17,000

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The Chesterton 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.

Approximately $17,000.

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.

Frontier was 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. 18.

Meanwhile, O’Dell 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.”



Posted 9/27/2018




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