Work to repair Canyon Street is taking longer than scheduled, and the town of Twisp has informed the contractor it may seek $2,000 per day in damages.
Hurst Construction of East Wenatchee agreed to a 35-day schedule to rebuild Canyon Street — part of a larger project that included repairs to damaged sections of sewer pipe and installation of a new water main. That 35-day window closed on Aug. 26, Public Works Director Andrew Denham told the Town Council on Aug. 27.
“Yesterday was end-of-project,” Denham told the council. “Everything beyond that has to be justified.”
Denham told the council the town is exercising its right under its contract with Hurst to seek approximately $2,000 per day in “liquidated damages.” The damages wouldn’t serve to penalize the contractor; rather, they would enable the town to recoup any added costs to the project, including additional work days for the engineer and the on-site archaeologist.
“It’s only prudent that we inform the contractor … that we have the right to do that,” Denham said in an interview. “We’re just hoping that that speeds [the project] along.”
Denham told the council that Hurst is seeking a formal extension of the project. The public works director said additional days were in fact “warranted,” given the way the job had progressed.
The Canyon Street project was bogged down by complications no one had anticipated. For instance, Denham said, the new water main needed to be installed at the same depth already occupied by sewer “laterals” — the connections from the sewer main to individual buildings. Not only did this slow the work down, it also added an estimated $25,000 to engineering and archeology costs, Denham told the council on Aug. 7.
The project cost had been set at $781,000. A majority of this amount is covered by a grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board, and a grant and loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The town’s share of the total cost was originally $20,000.
The final project cost, and the damages the town will seek to collect, if any, won’t be known until the work is finished.
Despite unforeseen delays, Denham told the council on Aug. 27 that “the project is going pretty well.” Connections from the new water main to individual water customers were completed last week.
New water meters installed at homes along Canyon Street will enable town staff to read them year-round, even during months when the meters are covered by snow. The meters transmit water usage information via radio waves.
The old pavement on Canyon Street was completely removed, and Hurst Construction will rebuild the road over the next several days. Paving was scheduled to begin on Tuesday (Sept. 10).