Washington Street contractor gets more money, more time

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The contractor repairing a section of Washington Street is getting 14 extra days and $9,663 more to complete the work.

The board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday approved the request by Madison-based American Field Services Corp. by a 2-0 vote. South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman was not at the meeting because of illness.

American Field Services began work on July 9 to stabilize a retaining wall and repair a section of the street south of the Washington Street bridge at Clark Street. The project was expected to be completed by the first of September.

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The company requested extra time, citing excessive rain during the first weeks of the project and problems installing the anchors to stabilize the wall below the street. Saradhi Balla of IMS Engineers, the project engineers, said the extra money is to cover additional work on a retaining wall.

The added cost boosts the project’s total from $203,536 to $213,199.

“When we measured the wall from top to side for the construction specifications, it measured 10 inches on all sides, but when the subcontractor began drilling for the anchors, we found that the wall was tapered and it got thicker as it went down,” he said.

According to a letter from American Field Service to IMS, workers installing anchors in the wall found the wall was 18 to 22 inches thick as they moved away from the wall’s top. The thicker walls required more time and equipment to make the borings for the stabilizing rods, the letter said.

The Washington Street project involves replacing 10 paved panels on the street and repairing the roadbed and bracing a nearby retaining wall with about 30 anchors.

The board on Feb. 28 declared an emergency and restricted traffic on Washington Street south of the bridge after a city crew repairing a water main leak near the retaining wall saw it move as heavy trucks went by. City workers also discovered a gap between the wall and the slope.

When the emergency was declared, the board ordered the detour of vehicles weighing more than 26,001 pounds, which included tractor-trailer rigs, log trucks, school buses and large emergency vehicles.

The board on April 26 transferred $265,000 from the city’s recreation department budget to the street department to pay for the repairs.