Posted 9/22/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
The Main Street extension project north of Signal Road is unlikely to be paved this season, the Tioga Commission learned Monday night.
While the downtown portion of the project is moving as expected, a different contractor is handling the north end of the project, where the road base north of Signal Road has now been determined inadequate.
John Schumacher, senior civil engineer with Ackerman-Estvold, requested a change order of $13,720.
“Why has it taken this long for them to determine it’s bad?” Mayor Drake McClelland asked.
Schumacher said the contractor, JR Civil, tried a few approaches to alleviate the problem, none of which turned out to be effective.
A noticeably irritated McClelland told Schumacher the project should have been much simpler. A bore test would have alerted the contractor to the problem and allowed them to address it much sooner, the mayor said.
“There’s a lot of time wasted here. We have another month, maybe,” McClelland said.
The commission voted to approve the change order.
But that wasn’t the only issue. The water main, which is being rerouted as part of the project, was not placed at depths that meet specifications the city and Ackerman developed for Tioga construction projects. If left out of compliance, the city risks freezing and water main breaks.
Schumacher proposed using an insulation cover, which he said would protect the pipe for up to a 100-year winter. The insulation would require an extra week to install.
Commissioner John Grubb asked what the possibilities were that the insulation would fail and the city would be on the hook to repair it.
He also voiced concern the city is again letting a contractor off the hook from deviances from the specifications.
Schumacher said to dig the trench again and place the pipe at the proper depth will add up to two weeks to the project.
“I think we’re between a rock and a hard place to get this done,” Grubb said.
The road cannot be paved without temperatures that remain consistently above 40 degrees. With nighttime temperatures already plummeting below that mark, it’s unlikely even the shortest delay would permit paving the road this season.
“You’re not paving this year,” said Antonio Conti, a project manager with AE2S.
Since a greater delay would make little difference in getting the road paved this season, the commission decided to ask the contractor to dig up the pipe and place it at the proper depth.