The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted during their November meeting to start a process that will kick off, in the coming months, the construction of a delayed sewage project that has been operating bypass pumps near the old ones for over 17 months Riverview School requires.
City Attorney Gerald Ewell said the city must prepay the cost of repairs to the section in question, then turn back and sue Westfield Insurance to get the cost back. When asked, Ewell estimated that the city had an 80% chance of winning the paint.
The problem lies in a 280-foot segment of the $ 2.6 million project where the burst lining process cannot be used. According to Vice Mayor Mark Messick, who sits on the Water Board, contractor J&H Construction attempted to blow up the section of the river crossing late Friday afternoon.
That attempt failed, and shortly afterwards J&H quit work, ran the bypass pumps dry, and over a weekend in May 2020, an estimated 1.8 million gallons of untreated wastewater flowed into the Little Duck River.
Ewell said during the working session prior to the meeting that the section in question could not be a burst pipe. The written contract would have required a change order for an open repair of the section.
“There would have been an increase over the $ 2.9 million bid project even if J&H had done so without errors,” Ewell told the board of directors. “Westfield won’t pay us to cross the river. They’ll make us pay for it and then sue them for it. “
Department of Water Director Bryan Pennnington told the board the work could not be done in-house and would need to be outsourced.
Since the city has a contract with Westfield, it must first offer Westfield the opportunity to complete the contract.
The Tanglewood and Skinner Flat sections of the sewer rehabilitation project also require open cut repairs instead of the burst pipe repair method. If these repairs are removed from the contract, the offer will likely still be higher due to price increases that have occurred since the contract was signed in 2018.
Ewell said the bond would cover the flat-rate damage and the city should expect to reimburse those costs at $ 300 per day. The city will try to reimburse the cost of the bypass pumps, damage, and legal fees.
Ewell said that part of the Skinner Flat Road project was earmarked for burst lining, but in this case J&H alerted the engineer that the section was too close to the bridge. This section of the pipe bursting method was bid for $ 20,000. For the open cut, this section was valued at $ 130,000.
Westfield has offered to take the job for just $ 92,000.
“That was less than what J&H would have done three years ago. The princes will take over someone else’s project and do it for $ 40,000 less. That tells you what J&H did to you, ”Ewell said.
Ewell found that pipe bursting ⅓ is the cost of other sewer rehabilitation methods. Then if a field determination is made that the bursting is not working, the section could be dragged or a change request made. The Skinner Flat section, Ewell said, needs repairing because “it leaks there.”
Ewell told the board that Westfield would not hire a contractor to complete the project, but would give money to the city to hire someone.
The Prince’s $ 328,000 cost estimate to complete work on the ruined Riverview River Crossing is subject to allowances and items to be omitted.
$ 100,000 for the bypass pumping and the increased cost, but the $ 125,000 credit for some television expense (visual inspection of the sewer by camera) that J&H did.
“I think we just have to fix it,” said Alderman French. “We have to follow the entire project. I would not accept an offer at all if there were any provisions about it. “
Pennington said that if J&H had notified the city that they could not have completed the river crossing section, they would have been put on the next redevelopment project to get a quote rather than doing it as a change order.
The board of directors agreed to a resolution to pursue the entire project as originally contractually agreed, either to work with Westfield or to resubmit it and then litigate them with an outside lawyer. It was passed unanimously.
The city is giving Westfield 30 days to reply. After receiving state permits to cross the river, the plans must be re-approved by the state. Work, once started, could be completed in three to four weeks.
“What we can get from Westfield is why we don’t immediately get Prince to do this for that price, do it, and then argue about the money later,” Ewell said.
This promotion comes after the city has been spending just under $ 700,000 a day on bypass pumping since May 2020, which averages just over $ 40,000 per month.
A second problem has been identified: In accordance with the recently approved state approval for the water resources change plan, the contractor has also created a negative slope under a commercial parking lot that will need to be excavated if one of the city’s new planned river crossings is chosen. A second crossing option requires the use of more sewer pipes overall, but results in fewer sewers in a flowing canal.
John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and has placed it in numerous other categories. John is a graduate of Tullahoma High School in 1994, a graduate of Motlow State Community College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma and loves to paint, dance and explore the great outdoors.