Jonathan St. work might be rebid

January 12, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The hard-to-reach sanitary sewer line under the surface of Jonathan Street has prompted city officials to consider rebidding the project to find another contractor.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said he will ask the City Council during a work session today for permission to rebid the project.

The existing contractor, Ardent Co. of McLean, Va., cannot complete the project for the original $3.7 million that the council authorized to spend because the sewer line is too difficult to reach, Tissue said. Workers were surprised to find that the sewer line ran through a limestone tunnel, rather than in an easily accessible trench, he said.

"The nature of the job has changed due to the rock tunnel," he said.

By rebidding the contract to include information about the condition of the rock, the city might be able to better prepare a contractor "to deal with the field conditions," Tissue said.


With contractors looking for work in today's sluggish economy, the city should be able to get a favorable bid, Tissue said. The major problem is that construction will be prolonged.

"We're not losing money, just time," Tissue said. "That's never good."

If everything goes as planned, construction would resume in March and be finished at the end of the year, Tissue said. The original plan called for construction to end in the summer.

The city took over a portion of the project last year and laid about 600 feet of water and sewer main, Tissue said. The new contractor would be responsible for laying an additional 1,300 feet.

Tissue said 1,900 feet of gas line already has been laid.

The project also includes the installation of a storm drain and reconstruction of the curb, street and sidewalk.

Tissue said a new contract would not be awarded until the contract with Ardent Co. is terminated.

Ardent Co. could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

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