Sunday, March 01, 2015

Hard Labor Creek Reservoir Board Turns Down Request From Contractor For Time Extension For Dam Completion

Discusses Additional Costs

The Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board has turned down a request by its general contractor for a time extension for completion of the dam in southeastern Walton County.

Construction of the reservoir originally was to be completed by Jan. 20 of this year, and the Board already had given Layne Heavy Civil Inc. an extension of 71 days. The current official expected completion date is April 1.

Layne had asked for 11 additional days without a contract penalty, but the Board voted, after nearly 40-minutes of discussion at its meeting on Feb. 17, to grant only a half day.

At the time of the meeting, the earthen dam embankment was 95 percent complete, but the labyrinth weir/chute spillway was only 65 percent complete.

That spillway has presented most of the problems leading to the construction delay, according to engineers overseeing the project for the Board.

$410,000 Additional Cost

At its meeting on Dec. 16 of last year, the Management Board agreed to pay Schnabel Engineering, $410,000 on top of the $923,000 originally agreed upon, or a 44.4 percent increase, to continue construction testing and engineering services for the dam through April 1 of 2015.

The Management Board at that meeting asked Project Manager Jimmy Parker of Precision Planning Inc. to get detailed figures on the reason for the $410,000 in additional costs.

Schnabel, which is monitoring the construction on behalf of the Board, has its offices in Alpharetta.

Layne has the $17.8 million contract for construction of the dam and reservoir. It is a global construction company with offices in Fairburn in Fulton County.

Schnabel Report

James R. Crowder, senior associate at Schnabel, told the Board in a letter dated Jan. 23 that the additional costs “are associated with the need for additional field staff and the requirement to evaluate, alter, and, if needed, redesign portions of the project as a result of the construction issues.”

Program Manager Parker, in the video clip below, told the Board that 36 percent of the additional costs, or $147,600, was attributable to two factors, namely construction quality and scheduling issues on the part of Layne.

OCO: Parker on Schnabel Letter from Lee Becker on Vimeo

Chowder had told the Board in his letter of Jan. 23 that the “quantity and severity of construction issues on this project substantially exceeds what Schnabel has typically observed on past construction projects of similar complexity.”

Chowder, in response to questions by the Board at the Feb. 17 meeting, said that Layne had overdrilled and overblasted the rock in the spillway, making it necessary to refill sections and pour additional concrete.

Cost Recovery

Chris Atkinson, Board attorney, told the group that Layne will begin paying $1,000 per day after March 20 for any delay in completion of the project, minus the half day approved by the Board.

In addition, the Board will be able to “settle up” with Layne at the end of the project for defective work, he said.

Atkinson said that the current estimate is that only $82,000 would fall into the “defective work” category, meaning that the remaining parts of the $147,600 attributable to the quality and scheduling issues will have to be recovered by the $1,000 per day charge.

Parker said he expects the completion to extend only into May, meaning that the bulk of the $410,000 paid to Schnabel will be unrecovered.

Video Of Discussion

The Board met at the historic Courthouse in Monroe, with Oconee County Commissioner Jim Luke, vice chair of the Board, chairing the meeting.

Committee Chair Kevin Little, Board of Commissioners Chairman in Walton County, was not able to attend the meeting.

The Management Board has members from both Walton and Oconee counties, partners in the reservoir project.

The video clip below contains the discussion of the payments to Schnabel and the request by Layne for the additional days. The Board voted to grant the half day credit because it was the only part of the 11 days requested that was not on a weekend. The Board had previously authorized weekend work.

The discussions of these two issues were separated in the meeting and have been merged with a fade in the video below.

OCO: Schnabel and Layne Requests from Lee Becker on Vimeo

1 comment:

Beanne said...

How interesting - the engineering firm makes a bundle, at least in part due to the contractor being late and apparently not that great. The Board does not approve the contractors request (reasonable) but approves a 44% increase in engineering fees for just an additional 2.5 months - seems a bit strange to me.