City crew will handle Link renovation project with contracted help to save $96,000 in 20-21

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 1/15/20

Citing an estimated cost savings of $96,000, the city’s public works director on Monday pitched a street renovation project to Owensville aldermen in a budget committee setting.

Jeff Kuhne …

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City crew will handle Link renovation project with contracted help to save $96,000 in 20-21

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Citing an estimated cost savings of $96,000, the city’s public works director on Monday pitched a street renovation project to Owensville aldermen in a budget committee setting.

Jeff Kuhne proposed a city plan to reconstruct two blocks of West Link Avenue this summer following replacement of 6-inch cast iron water lines with PVC in the 200 and 300 blocks.

Although the project carries a costly price tag, Kuhne called it the “best plan we can come up with for now.”

Citing  the project undertaken last summer on West Monroe which he felt went well, Kuhne told aldermen “my gut feeling is we ought to do this in house.”

He estimated completing both blocks would take four weeks depending on city manpower availability, the weather, contractor scheduling for certain portions of the project and their need to “put out fires of routine problems” in the city.

“That street will be good for a long time,” once it’s replaced, he told all four aldermen and the mayor. “That street won’t wait another year. This is the best plan we can come up with for now.”

Materials cost estimates for replacing the city water mains in the project area are $32,584, according to figures provided by the city’s Public Works Department. That estimate includes $4,185 factored in as a 15-percent contingency cost.

The proposed project also includes an estimated $227,476 in costs for rock ($62,870), asphalt ($78,268), equipment rental ($12,650), and engineering ($33,661). That total also includes a 15-percent contingency fee.

The city estimates it will need to spent $73,534.59 on concrete including a 15-percent contingency cost factored in of $9,591.47. Broken down by category, the list includes curbs ($13,244), sidewalks ($20,769 — double this if sidewalks are installed on both sides, Kuhne told aldermen), an intersection swale ($2,623), driveway aprons ($4,506), and ADA compliant sidewalk curb cuts ($22,800) for a total of $63,943.

The proposed project area is the 200 and 300 blocks of West Link between Second and Fourth streets and included reconstruction of failing curb and gutters, sidewalks and driveway aprons. Sidewalks will include cut outs for ramps which meet  Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

Cost estimates for contracting out the street work is listed at $397,194 including a 15-percent construction contingency factor along with design engineering and bidding and construction engineering fees, according to figures provided by Archer-Elgin Engineering on contract for the city.

That estimate includes $43,905 as a contingency cost, $33,661 in design engineering fees, and $26,928 for bidding and construction engineering fees.

Doing the work with city laborers and some contracted services is estimated at $301,002. Doing the project in house would also allow for an additional two foot depth on excavation, up to four feet total, depending on conditions below the street surface.

The street part of the project would not be included in the city’s spending plan until after the start of the new fiscal year (July 1). Money for the water and sewer improvements in the project area are in the current budget year which ends June 30.

Reasons cited for the project included extensive stretches of soft spots in the road. Several sections of curbs have deteriorated. Sections of the road have been pushed down below the curb line or the curbs themselves have rolled back, creating water drainage issues.

Mayor John Kamler, who said some citizens who feel like they are the “forgotten residents,” have called expressing concerns about conditions of the road.

“We do have other projects,” Kuhne told the board, mentioning the need to repair damage to Kuhne Road on the city’s west side due to clay-haulers. “This is going to be the priority.”

Sidewalks will be installed on both sides of the road. There is only a partial set of walkways, on one side of the street, in that two-block stretch, Kuhne told the board, noting the figure provided for sidewalks would need to be doubled.

Kuhne said a possible scenario for completion of the project could include a “timing” factor using some contracted services in addition to city labor. The city plans to use contracted services to complete a sewer line project along South Fourth Street to connect several residences into a new main being added there to correct a run-off issue onto a separate property.

If there are sections of the old clay sewer tiles found under Link, and if the contracted excavators are available after completing the Fourth Street project, they could help dig on Link and install new sewer lines if needed.

That could be accomplished through a change order, he said.

“We’ll start with the water main,” said Kuhne. “We’ll know a lot more about what’s under the street.”

The city will replace the existing  water mains and laterals to each of the 30 residences in the work zone. The sewer line, said Kuhne, is shown as being PVC on city maps. “That would be great,” he said.

Water meters would be replaced as necessary depending on locations of existing meter pits related to where new sidewalks would be poured.

Timing is crucial, said Kuhne, due to staffing needs with ongoing routine maintenance concerns and taking on a road construction project. “There’s only so much we can stack,” he said.

Since this was a committee meeting, no formal action was taken. Approval of the project would come as the budget is prepared and funding is allocated. The city is currently bidding concrete services for curb/gutter and flatwork installations.

“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” said Kuhne about the plan which saves the city $96,000 using in house labor versus contracting the entire project out.

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