Phase I of Enterprise’s water main replacement project is steadily moving forward, according to Field Superintendent Alan Mahan and City of Enterprise Consulting Engineer Glenn Morgan.
Mahan and Morgan updated the Enterprise Water Works Board on the state of the project during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday afternoon. Mahan said the project is at 30% completion and replacement crews are currently working in the Cook Street and Sanders Street area near the old Coppinville school building.
However, Morgan said the project is behind schedule and has been for the last few weeks, though the quality of work accomplished has been excellent.
“We just processed a pay request and they were 30% complete with the work and 70% of the contract time has elapsed,” Morgan said. “They started about three weeks late at their request early on due to their schedule, and we had a very in-depth conversation with them (Tuesday). The work is still going very well as far as what they’re doing, and we may not have set up enough contract time to begin with too. They just have one crew on the project; we discussed the possibility of a second crew, but right now this contractor doesn’t have a second crew in-house that they can put on the project. They would have to go get someone from a separate contractor. I’m not sure they could even find one, and if they do, there’s a high chance they would not do the work quality that we’re getting from this crew.”
Morgan said the delay is inconvenient due to the city’s plans for a road resurfacing project that is expected to begin after the water main project’s completion.
“As far as backstop on this project, time-wise, the only real backstop is the city has a resurfacing project that will follow the water main project, and the city council’s already authorized that project and I’ve just kind of got it on hold right now because you don’t need to start it too soon -- definitely not before the water main project’s over,” Morgan said. “That part would be a slight delay on the resurfacing.”
Morgan said he and Mahan have discussed with the contractor ways to combat the water main replacement timing issues in favor of the resurfacing project.
“Alan and I had a conversation with them the other day about editing at least a little bit on their work schedule to get the streets that are involved in the resurfacing project done first,” Mahan said. “There are some downtown alleys that obviously are not in the resurfacing project and there are a lot of rural roads out in the county on the west side that are not in the resurfacing project. That’s something that they said they’d be willing to do and it’ s probably a good idea, so they’re going to progress through and try to get finished with the streets in the resurfacing project first. That’ll help that project along.”
“I think they’re probably going to finish pretty close to the (end of August) deadline here in town; it may go over a little bit on the streets they’re working on in town,” Mahan added. “We shifted some of the outer areas in the country that’s going to be done, and that may lap over a little longer, but it’s basically just running lines and looping systems out where we need to loop the system. I think they would be finished inside the city in probably August or September.”
Councilman and water board member Eugene Goolsby asked if the delay in finishing Phase 1 of the project would also delay the beginning of Phase II, which Morgan said in last month’s water board meeting is almost “95% planned.”
“The plans and the specs are close enough to being ready that we could advertise it,” Morgan said. “We still have the ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) and the DOT (Department of Transportation) permit to file. We haven’t done that though I have everything in hand; these changes on the streets are one reason I held it, to make sure we didn’t have to amend that when I sent it to ADEM. I think we can go ahead and file the ADEM and DOT permit in the next week or two weeks to get that process started.”
Morgan said Phase II of the project could be advertised as early as the first week of August, which would put the beginning of construction towards the end of September.
“It will take 60 days to go through the bid process and the contractor time, which will put it closer to where Phase I will be getting close to the wrapping up stage,” Morgan said. “This contractor is very much interested in Phase II; hopefully when we get to that point it’ll be such that he feels like he can bid. If they do and they overlap, he’s going to have to make arrangements for another crew, some help, but I think Alan and I agree that we would like to schedule it such that this contractor does have an opportunity to bid and he’s going to be competitive.”