Aldermen Monday night criticized the Main Street project contractor for violating an agreement by not providing a progress update — and delays in adding safety measures to foot bridges.
Last year, members of the personnel, finance and public works committee had asked that Magruder Paving, the contractor on the project, provide a monthly report during the committee meeting. That meeting is generally held the first Monday of each month.
Terry Todd, with the project engineer Cochran, said the contractor did not provide the information prior to the February meeting.
“We are entitled to know how far behind they are going to be,” said Alderman Vicki Jo Hooper.
Todd said the most recent update he was given estimated the completion date in April.
“I’ve had people in the past couple of weeks ask when they are going to be done,” Hooper said.
Alderman Dustin Bailey added that guardrails on footbridges have not been installed, which has created a safety hazard. Aldermen requested the guardrails be installed more than a month ago.
“This is obnoxious,” Bailey said. “The contractor is doing a terrible job completing their job — as far as maintaining the time line agreed on is awful.”
“I feel we are getting ripped off to a degree,” he added.
Todd told committee members that the contractor saved the city about $5,000 with a change order for the guardrails and they should be delivered within two weeks.
“They should have been ordered before the project started,” said Alderman Bob Schmuke.
“If the completion date was Dec. 15, everything needed to complete the project should be on site,” he added.
Work began on the street project in May and it was slated to take 240 days, or about eight months, officials said.
The deadline for completion was Dec. 15, but there will be about 10 more days provided to the contractor to complete the project because there were additions to the project including the addition of $20,000 to the Main Street project to be used for more curb and gutter replacement.
From Dec. 15 through March 15, the city cannot assess damages for incomplete work due to low temperatures. Most concrete plants won’t be open during those months.
In effect, that pushed the deadline back to March 15, however, aldermen questioned if work should be permitted to work during the winter months.
Ultimately aldermen agreed to allow work during winter months, but asked crews to stay out of the downtown area during the holiday season.
The scope of the Main Street project includes a 2-inch asphalt overlay, concrete base repairs, new sidewalks and signs.
There also is an enhancement component of the project that is under way in the downtown area now.
Included in the project is a roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Independence Drive that has already been completed.