Contractors, engineers and county officials are pointing fingers at each other over a mistake which may delay the Bend Road bridge project.

County Highway Administrator Ron Williams said work has been stopped on construction after it was discovered the rebar for the project was short by about half.

The rebar was supposed to go into the road decking which was scheduled to be poured March 9, and was included in the original designs approved by the county and the state.

“This was caught the first week of February,” Williams said. “It’s an honest mistake, but it’s still a mistake.”

A commission order to amend the agreement with contractor Lehman Construction was tabled until more discussion can be done as to who is responsible for the mistake and the bigger question of who will pay for the additional materials.

The commission order reads “it has been determined that an error was made with regard to the calculation of the necessary quantity of epoxy coated reinforcing steel; and the change order would add an additional $12,629 to the project cost for a total cost of $4,304,320.69.”

The order called for the additional costs to be paid from the county road and bridge fund.

County commissioners John Griesheimer, Dave Hinson and Tim Brinker all disagreed that the county should foot the bill for the mistake and instead pointed the finger at the contractor who they feel should absorb the costs.

Williams also raised the point that all three companies who had bid on the rebar supply came back with the same numbers based on the original plans.

The Bend Road bridge project is an 80/20 split with the Missouri Department if Transportation (MoDOT), and commissioners have concerns MoDOT will not pay for the additional rebar costs leaving the county responsible for the $12,629 increase.

The commissioners said they will be meeting with Williams, Cochran Engineering and Lehman Construction to determine who is actually at fault for the mistake.

In the meantime, Williams said the road decking pour is scheduled for two weeks form now, but the level of the Meramec River after heavy rains in the last two weeks is too high for concrete pouring to proceed.