Water main installation work clears hurdle after Village Board agrees to tap local sand source
Village of Fredonia officials were able to ease the concerns of a contractor, clearing the way for work to begin this week on the installation of a new water main along Fredonia Avenue.
The project appeared to be in jeopardy when PTS Contractors of Green Bay informed the village replacing the water line could cost as much as an additional $161,000 because granular material — sand and gravel — would be needed to backfill the roadway trench.
According to the contract specifications, clay soils, as are commonly found in the proposed construction area, are not deemed suitable for backfill material.
The $161,000 change order would be in addition to the $830,000 bid for the project. Officials noted that bid was already $300,000 higher than original estimates.
However, Village President Chuck Lapicola told the Village Board last week that after meeting with Public Works Director Roger Strohm and the contractor, he is convinced the cost overrun for backfill material is likely to be far less than PTS presented as a worst-case scenario.
Lapicola said if sand is needed to backfill the trench, it can be purchased from a Town of Fredonia pit for much lower than the price quoted by the contractor.
He estimated hauling in fill material should not cost more than $10,000.
In stretches where the main will be installed outside the road right of way, excavated soil can be reused to fill. Sections of the construction zone also have large seams of sandy soil.
“Roger will be on site to do all the inspections and he will decide when additional fill is needed,” Lapicola said.
“The $161,000 is out the window. We feel we are not going to have any problems. According to the boring logs we should be fine.”
A final pre-construction meeting was planned for early this week, with construction expected to start by mid-week.
Lapicola said if no significant problems are encountered, the water main work should be completed by mid-November.
The cost of the water line work is expected to be reduced by $70,000, because the village approved using two inches of asphalt as a temporary paving patch instead of a recommended five inches.
Reconstruction of the roadway is still planned for next spring, although the Ozaukee County Highway Department has not accepted bids for that project yet.
Trustees were relieved that the high backfill cost can be avoided, but there was some division over who should be responsible for the cost of the sand that will be brought in.
Trustee Fritz Buchholtz said PTS signed the contract for the project, realizing only after the fact that additional fill material might be needed.
“If it is going to cost us only $5,000 to $10,000, that would be less than the cost of going to our lawyer, but if it is going to be more than that we may want to get our lawyer involved,” Buchholtz said.
“The best case scenario would be to require them to follow the contract, because then there would be no additional cost.”
Trustee Don Dohrwardt said the interest of the village would be better served by avoiding a legal tussle over the fill.
“The objective is to get the pipe in the road this fall,” Dohrwardt said.
Trustees, by a 4-2 vote, approved the change order allowing up to $15,000 in new fill to be used in the water line project.