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City dips into breakwater contingency fund PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 April 2017 20:56

Sheetwall surprise costs $40,000 more than planned, but project on schedule

The first phase of Port Washington’s breakwater gateway project is proceeding on schedule, officials said Tuesday, even as they approved a costly change order for the work.

City Administrator Mark Grams said that when Terra Engineering and Construction Co. removed the sheet pile wall and armor stone at the entrance to the breakwater, it discovered that the wall was sunk deeper into the ground than expected and the stone was much larger than anticipated.

“They found the majority of the sheetwall was ... eight to nine feet deep,” Grams said. 

The firm had to bring in additional equipment to remove the wall and, in some cases, break up the armor stone, he said.

The work cost the city $40,000 more than expected, Grams said, from a contingency fund of $57,000.

A $1,000 change order had been approved previously, he noted, drawing down the contingency further.

Grams said the city’s “hope and guess” is that this will be the final change order for the project.

“We don’t anticipate any other change orders,” he said, adding that if there are, they likely won’t be as costly.

The gateway project is intended to create a more welcoming entrance to the breakwater. Officials envision a green space with trails that leads to an 8-foot-wide concrete walkway that’s handicapped accessible to replace scruffy landscaping and a narrow, rusty steel mesh walkway.

A fishing platform will be created, giving visitors a comfortable place to cast their lines while still allowing people to walk past them on their way to the lighthouse. “We’re so proud of the changes being made by the breakwater project,” Mayor Tom Mlada said.

The first phase of the gateway project will make improvements to much of the breakwater infrastructure at the far west end — replacing most of the structure from the west side to the steel cell section, while the second phase includes improvements to the land around the breakwater, such as landscaping, creation of a boardwalk and a connection to the bike path.

Even as the city continues to work on the gateway project, it is casting an eye toward other repairs to the far east end of the breakwater and the replacement of armor stone along the south breakwater.

The city is expected to ask the County Board to contribute $150,000 toward the armor stone project, and the Common Council recently approved a statement of intent to apply for an additional Harbor Assistance Program grant for the breakwater project.

A report on additional  funding sources is expected to be given to the Common Council at its May 2 meeting.

Image information: 

A CREW FROM Terra Engineering and Construction worked to remove the catwalk on the far east end of Port Washington’s north breakwater earlier this week.                                 Photo by Bill Schanen IV


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