City officials agreed to partial payment for work on Thornton Street where repairs have been declared unacceptable after the project engineer spoke on behalf of the contractor.

Spencer Contracting, Arnold, was awarded the $746,758 contract to rebuild Thornton Street between Molly’s and North Monroe streets.

Work included pavement preparation, asphalt overlay, concrete sidewalks, concrete curb, storm sewer improvements, street lighting and pavement striping on that section of Thornton Street.

City officials rejected the paving job, citing stormwater flowing in the wrong direction, making conditions worse than they were before the project began.

The city notified Spencer Contracting that the entire project would have to be repaved to redirect runoff water.

Officials said they would withhold payment to the firm until the faulty surface was removed and a new asphalt surface installed.

Speaking at the Oct. 17 board of aldermen meeting, Dave Christiansen, of Cochran Engineering, told aldermen there is a solution that would not require removing the faulty surface, but would satisfy both the city and the contractor.

Christiansen said he had met with the contractor and MoDOT, which administers the federal grant that funds the work, and everyone agreed that the work was not acceptable.

“The contractor does not want to fight with you,” he said. “They know it was a bad job.”

Christiansen said he proposed milling down the edges of the roadway and then adding a new 1.5-inch surface over the entire roadway.

The end result would be that the city would get a better road surface than originally called for.

Christiansen said after the milling, with him present, pavers would pour water over the surface to make sure water drains correctly. He also said MoDOT wants the city to pay the contractor for the portion of the work that is acceptable.

The city has already paid the contractor $467,000.

Christiansen said it would be appropriate for the city to pay Spencer for the acceptable portion of the work so he can pay his subcontractors.

Alderman Mike Pigg made a motion that the city withhold $84,000 from the final payment.

Aldermen also said they needed some assurances that the work would be done satisfactorily this time.

Alderman Nick Chlebowski said he wants the engineer to write specs for the repair work. Alderman Steve Myers said the specs should include supervision on the work and the water tests.

Alderman Carol Johnson added that the contractor should let the residents on the street know what was happening and notify the police, fire and ambulance districts.

Mayor Jeff Palmore said he would approve the partial payment after receiving a change order, containing the details should be repaired.

Christiansen said a no-cost change order would be prepared for the repair work. He also said he thought the work could be completed in one day.