County Road 804 project costs run over projections
An improvements project on County Road 804 has gone over budget after a contractor misjudged the composition of the earth below the road.
The total price for the project jumped $133,458, said Tim Gagnon, county engineer, at a special meeting conducted Aug. 25.
Of that figure, Grand County would be accountable for $76,950, the Town of Fraser for $31,054 and Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District for $25,452.
The total figure could drop by $18,000 due to revised gravel sections, Gagnon said.
“My board was pleased with this number compared with what we were looking at before, but still it’s unfortunate,” said Jim Fox with Winter Park Ranch Water and Sanitation District. “However, it does come close to what were going to have to pay if we went on our own in the beginning.”
Kumar and Associates, a subcontractor hired to analyze the soil beneath the road, failed to identify large cobble in the soil that hindered planned improvements on the road and elevated costs.
The costs do not include an additional $12,000 for Everist Materials to mobilize and demobilize a pulverizer for the project, Gagnon said.
“I don’t know if we might want to consider talking to Kumar about those costs considering that their recommendation is what got us to that point,” Gagnon said.
Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke also questioned why the onus of payment fell squarely on the county.
Gagnon replied that, had Kumar correctly identified the cobble the first time, then those additional costs would have been included in the bid anyway.
“My position on it is that I don’t think this entire change order should fall on them,” Gagnon said.
However, Gagnon said he didn’t believe the costs for the pulverizer should fall on the county.
Commissioner Kris Manguso said she agreed.
County Attorney Alan Hassler said that, because differing soil conditions weren’t mentioned in the contract, then the issue could be the contractor’s problem.
Kumar’s report identifies coble “at depth,” which Hassler said he interpreted as recognition that cobble existed.
“They said cobble at depth, and I think they said that for a reason,” Gagnon said. “They said that because they didn’t think that you would hit cobble at a shallow depth.”
Hassler recommended that the resolution state the change order was being accepted “under protest and that the county does not regard this as final acceptance of the change order.”
The commissioners passed a resolution authorizing the change order with a caveat that the figure may not be final.
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