Second phase of skate park on hold

November 6, 2018

HUNTINGTON — The city of Huntington has changed the way it handles bids from contractors after there was a delay in the second phase of construction at the skate park at Harris Riverfront Park.

The second phase was scheduled to be completed by the end of October, but has been put on hold until spring because the contractor moved on to another fall project.

City council members in July awarded a $147,000 contract to Nehemiah Construction of Barboursville, the winning bidders to complete the second phase of construction. The construction was to include 2,500 square feet of new skateable surface, including a quarter pipe and a volcano. It was to be paid for using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding previously allocated and approved by council.

Under the city’s old policy, Nehemiah Construction agreed to hold on to their winning contract for 60 days.

“Because of the committee process and the approval process, and the way the dates fell, it extended beyond that 60 days,” said Bryan Chambers, the city’s communications director.

The city went back to Nehemiah Construction to ask if they could hold on to their winning bid until springtime, but the construction company elected to move on to another project this fall.

The city will now have to re-bid the project in January for a springtime completion, Chambers said.

“It doesn’t really delay anything in our minds because the contractor had already taken on a project in the fall,” he said. “In all likelihood, the second phase wasn’t going to begin until spring anyways.”

Because of the issues surrounding the construction, the city now requires contractors hold on to winning bids for 90 days.

“We don’t envision this becoming an issue again,” Chambers said.

Chambers said city council is dedicated to seeing the complete construction of the skate park and knows the community wants to see it move forward.

“The good news is the money is still there for the project,” he said. “It was designated specifically for that project, so that is not the issue whatsoever.”

City council members will need to allocate funding for the final phase of construction, to be completed sometime after the second phase. This will see the addition of a bowl, which is basically an empty swimming pool for skateboarders to perform tricks.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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