Repairs to Blues Factory lot will cost city $85,000 Print
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Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:19

Port council agrees to pay for seawall work at site of proposed development

    The City of Port Washington will pay $85,000 of the $89,500 cost to repair the north marina parking lot sheetwall, stabilizing it for the planned Blues Factory entertainment complex.
    The remainder of the cost —$4,500 — will be paid by the developer, officials said.
    The Common Council last week approved the low bid from Michels Foundations of New Berlin with the condition that work begin after Feb. 1, after the parking lot is purchased by the Blues Factory developer.
    Only Ald. Mike Gasper dissented, saying that if the Blues Factory development does not occur, the city doesn’t need to make the repairs.
    “I’m still of the opinion that if the Blues Factory were not to happen, we’d be better off just monitoring here,” he said.
    The city has been looking at ways to stabilize the sheetwall since it discovered earlier this year that the structural supports for it — the tiebacks that hold the wall in place and the deadmen that anchor the tiebacks — are largely nonexistent and the wall is bowing in places.
    After reviewing several stabilization systems, aldermen agreed to install an angular restraint system using directionally drilled rods. The rods won’t be tied into the Blues Factory building but instead will be anchored by a grout injection.
    “We had a lot of interest in the project,” Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said, noting four firms bid on the job and the bulk of the bids were close.
    “I think this is a really good price,” Ald. John Sigwart said. “I don’t want to risk losing that bid.”
    The city agreed earlier that it would pay as much as $85,000 for the work, and developer Gertjan van den Broek had 10 days from the bid opening to agree to pay the $4,500 difference, City Attorney Eric Eberhardt said.
    Van den Broek has been out of the country, but City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday he does not believe the payment will be an issue.    
    Aldermen spent a significant amount of time discussing when the project would be done since the city will use the proceeds from the sale of the parking lot to pay for the work.
    The property is being sold for $250,000, with the closing date set for Jan. 18.
    “If the work is going to be done in spring, it’s no problem,” Grams said. “If the work’s going to be done in December, that’s a problem.”
    Aldermen initially proposed setting Jan. 19 as the earliest date for the work, but then decided on Feb. 1 to accommodate any unexpected project delays.
    Van den Broek told the council earlier this fall that resolving the sheetwall issue will allow him to finalize the design for the building and move ahead with the project.