City council will vote on $259,000 H Street construction change order

Published on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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The Blaine City Council at its Monday, August 8, meeting will vote on whether to approve an approximately $259,000 change order to the city's contract with Colacurcio Brothers Construction for the ongoing improvements to H Street near the Cost Cutter shopping center.

According to the change order, Colacurcio Brothers encountered increased traffic flagger, paving and gravel costs as crews worked to widen the stretch of H Street between Ludwick Avenue and Terrace Avenue and upgrade the utility lines running underneath the road. The initial contract cost of the project was $1.67 million; roughly $250,000 less than the city engineer's estimate. The change order, if approved, would bump up the cost to approximately $2 million. Work on the project started last July.

The most expensive portion of the change order is approximately $137,000 more for the use of traffic flaggers, who are paid $42 per hour. Larry Leicht of Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering, one of the subcontractors on the project, explained in the change order that additional flagger time was needed to not only direct through-traffic on H Street but also assist those who lived along that stretch of H Street into their homes.

"It is very difficult to predict how much flagging will be needed on any project, as we cannot direct the contractor how to progress with the work," Leicht wrote. "Additional working days also contributed to the need for additional flagging time."

Most of the additional gravel and crushed rock, about $30,000 worth, was used to keep the traffic  lanes, driveways and sidewalks along H Street passable. $15,000 is also included in the change order to aid in the re-landscaping of the area.

This particular project started with some notoriety after the city council approved Colacurcio Brothers' bid, though it was the second lowest of the seven that were submitted. The lowest bidder was Frieberg Construction out of Ferndale, but their failure to fill out a page of the bidding paperwork kept the city from approving their bid.

Click here to read my story about the city council awarding the bid to Colacurcio Brothers.


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