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More delays for Iola’s bridge project

Bridge construction has hit another snag on Town Line Road.

A problem locating pipes has delayed the project, which had been scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2012.

A summary of the events regarding an abandoned HDPE pipe was presented to the Iola Village Board at its May 13 meeting.

“If not for the pipe we could not locate, this project would have been done months ago,” Project Manager Ted Jennejohn said.

Due to the delay, his company, McMullen & Pitz Construction (MPC), is requesting the village of Iola to pay an additional $26,033 on the Town Line Road project.

Jennejohn noted this is less than half of MPC’s actual additional expenses, which total over $54,638.

According to Jennejohn, MPC began searching for the HDPE water main and the abandoned HDPE pipe on Sept. 27, 2012. At that point, they could only search in the northeast corner of the project because of Department of Natural Resources restrictions.

As MPC and subcontractor Grube Construction continued to search, they encountered major dewatering problems starting on Oct. 8.

The pipe was finally located on Nov. 9, 2012, and was determined to be the cause of the dewatering issues.

The abutments were completed by Nov. 30, but bridge construction was halted through the winter months.

According to Jennejohn, MPC spent 32 working days on the north abutment, but the south abutment only took five days to complete.

“The south abutment was at the same elevation, in the same soils, and had the same water table as the north abutment,” he stated in the summary.

“It is obvious to us the actual cause of the problems we encountered on this project was the abandoned HDPE pipe which was unlocatable prior to beginning the project,” the summary continued. “Therefore, we do not accept claims that the means and methods of construction … were inadequate.”

Village President Joel Edler expressed his disappointment that Town Line Road is not available as a detour during the reconstruction of Main Street/State Highways 49-161.

“It’s an expensive black eye on us because we wanted the job done last year,” Jennejohn said.

The board agreed to have the Public Property & Streets Committee come up with a recommendation on the change order request.

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