New Road Work To Fix Last Year's Water Street Resurfacing Issues Tentatively Set For June 8-9
The City of Saugatuck is requiring its road contractor to redo 20 percent of the 2014 Water Street resurfacing project which city engineers found to be “unacceptable” last fall.
The reconstruction was approved at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting. The contractor is bound by a legal agreement to make any necessary corrections and do so at its own expense. Taxpayers will not have to foot any of the bill for the required resurfacing.
Once the repair is completed to original specifications, the city will release $87,454—based on the original cost—to Schipper’s Excavating, which is the city’s road contractor on the Water Street project.
City officials originally planned to have Schipper’s Excavating redo all of the project to give the road a unifying look to the surface. The city could have resorted to legal action against Schipper’s, but even if it won in mediation or trial, the endeavor would have been costly.
“We probably pay more in attorney fees and engineering fees than it would be worth it, so we are just having the contractor redo 20 percent,” Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier told the city council about the advice from legal counsel and the city engineer.
That 20 percent resurfacing will cover the areas in need of repair.
“This (terms of the change order) does provide for a three-year warranty. Normally, it’s a one-year warranty (on materials and workmanship), so the city is getting some benefits,” the city manager noted.
Harrier said the street will get a unifying look once the road starts greying as time progresses.
The 2014 project was not a total reconstruction, it was a resurfacing project. It involved milling a portion of the asphalt, excavating specific small portions of the road that had inadequate subsoil and correcting some drainage issues, then repaving the surface.
Once the work was completed, Harrier inspected the work and immediately noticed it was “substandard” with some areas having exposed aggregate, looking “chopped up and patched up.”
The city related the problem to the city engineer and overseer of the project - Fleis & VandenBrink. Confronted by city council question’s of who “dropped the ball,” Fleis & VandenBrink Vice President Steve VandenBrink claimed the general contractor, Schipper’s Excavating, “was not providing adequate supervision” on site.
Schipper’s Excavating subcontracted the work to Rieth & Riley.
The repair agreement or change order is between Schipper’s and the city. Rieth & Riley is doing the repair work.
It was too late in the construction season for any repairs last year. Fleis & VandenBrink advised officials to wait until this spring when the weather temperatures would be guaranteed to reach 60 degrees or more.
The redo project will be done quickly, with milling and paving being done the same day, said Harrier. “It’s not going to be zero inconvenience; there will be some inconvenience, but the work needs to be done right,” he said.