8th Ave. project still delayed

February 22, 2019

BELLE FOURCHE –– Belle Fourche’s National Street reopened earlier this week but overall, progress on the Eighth Avenue sewer interceptor project continues to be delayed due to chilly temps.

Bret Olson, with Heavy Constructors, the Rapid-City based construction firm awarded the project, Wednesday echoed statements he made during the Feb. 6 meeting, telling city officials that the weather just isn’t cooperating with construction efforts.

“It kind of looks like there’s a little bit of a weather change the first part of March … it (the temperature) starts climbing,” Olson said. “But pretty much anything that’s under 20 degrees and less, we’re just not even going to attempt to do anything.”

The project’s design includes a new sanitary sewer main under Eighth Avenue, starting at the State Street lift station, continuing underneath the Belle Fourche River and near the post office at Eighth Avenue and State Street to the south, ending near National Street.

Crews are currently working on Seventh Avenue off of National Street, which is closed. Traffic is detoured around the closure.

Potential negative consequences in the form of liquidated damages imposed upon the construction company accumulate each working day. The original completion date of Sept. 1, 2018, was pushed back to mid-October. Work continues now into the 18th week following the extension deadline. Each workday beyond Oct. 15, 2018, accrues $900 in penalties against Heavy Constructors. Assuming crews worked Monday through Friday, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day, the construction company is on the hook for more that $80,100 worth of penalties as of Wednesday.

Currently, the construction company has not applied for a second time extension that could, if approved by the city, eliminate some or all of the financial penalties.

To date, approximately $3.738 million of the $4.13 million project has been paid, leaving approximately $459,852 worth of budgeted funds remaining.

The city engineer’s office, in conjunction with HDR Engineering, Inc., and Heavy Constructors typically meet every other Tuesday morning to discuss the project’s progress. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 6. The construction update meetings are open to the public and held in the upstairs conference room at Belle Fourche City Hall, located at 511 Sixth Ave.

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