Thu, May 28, 2020
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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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Castle Rock asked to approve $46,000 in change orders

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The Castle Rock City Council has been asked to approve more than $46,000 in change orders for the Front Ave. reconstruction project after contractor Tapani Underground ran into unexpected delays.

It was reported during their Oct. 14 meeting a full 11 days of additional work was incurred when road crews encountered undocumented concrete supports under the pavement, which required extra effort to dig through, as well as unlabeled phone lines owned by Century Link, which crews had to take extra effort to not disturb.

These have been the latest of three amendments to estimates for the project, which is currently expected to cost around $1.7 million.

City Engineer Mike Johnson stated the change orders are not expected to heavily impact city resources, as a large majority of funding for the project has been procured through sources such as the Transportation Improvement Board and the Public Works Trust Fund. Some funding, however, is still expected to come from city accounts for streets, utilities and storm drains, he added.

City Council Member Mike Davis commented, given the project is nearing completion, he believes there should be more deliberate efforts to inform officials earlier of potential changes, as the challenges described in the most current change orders were not likely encountered recently.

"This just didn’t happen in the last week or two since we had our last council meeting," he said. "It would be kind of nice to get a heads up and say, ‘Hey, Councilors, this is what we’re running into on the project.’"

Johnson replied change orders can take some time to prepare, given the need to assess if any additional labor has been incurred above estimates, as well as the cost of the labor. But he said council members can be informed of when a change order is anticipated due to any potential cost increases, as long as they are comfortable with being given rough figures.

The council voted to approve the change order related to the concrete obstacles in the amount of $28,067.59, but said they would like to check with Century Link about the costs for working around the phone lines (estimated at $18,006.36) as the company is liable for not having documented them properly. This move was endorsed by City Attorney Frank Randolph as an appropriate form of action.

While the change order has been approved, money for the project has yet to change hands, explained Johnson, as the total cost of the project could still vary from overall estimates. It is entirely possible, he said, for expenses to come in lower for other aspects of the project and for these savings to partially even out unexpected expenditures.

The Front Ave. project has been reported in its last stages of construction and final costs are expected to be before the council soon.

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