Port Angeles caps pay for Lauridsen Bridge project manager
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Work continues Wednesday on the Lauridsen Boulevard bridge over Peabody Creek in Port Angeles.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — The city will pay no more than an additional $15,000 to its project manager on the Lauridsen Bridge replacement project after various holdups caused by construction contractor “inefficiencies,” unforeseen circumstances and inclement weather have delayed the project.

City Council members voted 6-1, with Councilman Lee Whetham opposed, to approve a contract amendment not to exceed a total of $75,000 with Lacey-based Exeltech Consulting for management of the $4.5 million replacement of the bridge carrying Lauridsen Boulevard over Peabody Creek.

The construction contractor, which Exeltech is managing, is Kent-based Scarsella Bros.

Who pays what

The city won't pay the whole cost.

A federal grant is funding 80 percent of the project, with the city providing the remaining 20 percent of the cost.

This means the city will pay for 20 percent, or $15,000, of the contract amendment, city Public Works and Utilities Director Craig Fulton explained.

The amendment increases Exeltech's contract with the city to $538,522, according to a staff memo presented to council members.

The additional $15,000 could be repayed to the city as “liquidated damages” negotiated with Scarsella Bros. after the project is completed.

“We would hold that portion in liquidated damages from any invoicing, and then the final impact would be negotiated at the end of the project,” Fulton said.

“It could possibly be covered. Liquidated damages are discussed and negotiated at the end of the contract,” he continued.

“At this point, it's premature to answer definitively about that.”

Fulton said the delays center around extra work needed to place large logs along Peabody Creek after demolition of the original bridge and changes to the placement of a traffic signal control box and a storm drain line underneath Race Street.

Fulton said this work, in addition to delays caused by rain and staffing issues for Scarsella Bros., have added 40 working days to the project, originally slated to be complete by March 3.

“I would say the biggest drivers are the staffing at particular portions of the job and the weather,” City Engineer Mike Puntenney said Wednesday.

Whetham expressed concerns about the delays during Tuesday's meeting, asking Fulton why they had not been included in the project's original plans.

“The majority I thought should have been covered during the plan review and permitting process,” Whetham said in a Wednesday interview

Stormwater line issue

Fulton said the stormwater line underneath Race Street needed to be altered because the city's on-file plans showed a stormwater line where there was not one once the contractor began digging into Race Street.

At $64,236, this is the largest of the three change orders Scarsella Bros. has issued on its contract to the city, according to a summary of change orders provided by staff.

The added logs and relocation of the traffic signal control box totaled $14,795, according to the summary.

Once completed, the new Lauridsen bridge will include two 12-foot-wide vehicle lanes, an eastbound center turn lane and two 5-foot-wide bicycle lanes.


Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 19. 2014 4:40PM
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