Council addresses street issues

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council addressed four items concerning streets at its Monday meeting, ranging from past projects to the choosing of an engineering firm for the 2009 street and utility projects.

Doug Parrott of the engineering firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., addressed the council concerning concrete pop outs that had been occurring on 42 driveway aprons along Lexington Avenue. The aprons had been part of street work done in 2007.

It was found the aggregates in the aprons contained shale and iron-carbonate particles, which are susceptible to the freeze/thaw cycle. While the concrete is of adequate strength, an issue is the appearance of the surface. He explained while there are industry standards for pop outs, these were slightly more severe.

The residents were presented two options, to accept a $300 reduction in their assessment or to have their concrete aprons further reviewed. Twenty-seven residents accepted the reductions while 15 asked for reviews with seven aprons recommended for replacement. Parrott called the other eight explaining their aprons didn't warrant replaacement, but they could still accept the reduction. Parrott will be sending letters to the 42 residents explaining the situation.

Councilmember Duane Jirik asked if the concrete had been poured to specifications.

Parrott noted that was a point of discussion with the contractor for the work. To ensure the contractor responds to the pop outs, Parrott recommended the city retain part of the payment for the project.

The council unanimously approved the work to be done on the aprons.

Retainage reduction

The council unanimously approved a request to reduce its retainage of work done by K.A. Witt Construction Inc., from 5 percent to 2.5 for the 2008 street reconstruction project.

New Prague City Administrator Mike Johnson explained the city usually retains 5 percent of payments it makes to contractors to ensure the work is completed. Due to overpayment, the city could either try to get the money back or reduce the percentage to be retained.

Mayor W.A. Bink Bender asked whether Witt Construction had some outstanding bills it owed the city. City Planner Ken Ondich confirmed that Witt owed money to the city.

The council approved reducing the retainage to 2.5 percent rate and directed city staff to work with Witt on paying the outstanding bills.

2009 engineering firm

The council unanimously approved S.E.H. for its engineering services for the 2009 street reconstruction project.

The city requested proposals from the firms of S.E.H. and Bolton & Menk Inc., for the project, which consists of two areas, Fifth Street SW from Highway 13/21 to Central Avenue S, and Forest Green Circle NE. The proposal required the firms to submit a not to exceed cost for performing the necessary work.

Bolton & Menk submitted a proposal of $185,584 and S.E.H. had one of $184,900.

Mayor Bender asked if the two firms had similar time lines for the work. It was noted S.E.H. had about a week longer for the project.

The council also went with S.E.H. and ordered a feasibility report on the 2009 street reconstruction project.

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