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September 12, 2011

4

Mayor says no public money will be used to fix Antelope Valley bridges

by Deena Winter

Antelope Valley channel in 2010.


Mayor Chris Beutler and the Joint Antelope Valley Authority announced Monday that seven bridges in the Antelope Valley Project area will be repaired at no cost to taxpayers.

An agreement was reached last week with project consultants and contractors to repair areas of cracking concrete surface material on the bottoms of the bridges. The agreement includes the assignment of financial responsibility. Repair work will begin this week and is expected to be completed in mid-November.

“The consultants and contractors took total financial responsibility, and the JAVA partners were even reimbursed $30,000 to defray expenses related to the repairs,” Beutler said in a press release. “We did exactly what the public asked of us: we insisted on accountability and held the taxpayer harmless. … I want to thank the consultants and contractors for stepping up and helping find a solution.”

The primary consultants and contractors are Parsons Brinckerhoff Americas, Inc.; Hawkins Construction Company; Constructors Inc.; United Contractors Inc.; and Watts Electric Company.

The bridges opened to traffic between July 2007 and October 2009. Defects were discovered by city staff late last year and trails under the bridges were closed Jan. 4 after an 18-inch piece of concrete fell from the O Street bridge. The trails were reopened Jan. 28 after temporary bridge repairs.

The mayor thanked the Federal Highway Administration and the Nebraska Department of Roads for their work on the issue. The NDOR’s independent evaluation concluded the problems were caused by several factors, including the absence of required drainage in electrical conduits, poor workmanship and poor inspections. The NDOR also found a problem with roadway expansion joints which will be corrected by the city. The NDOR report also covered the extent of the damage and proposed solutions. The estimated cost of the repairs is about $250,000.

“In the course of a project as large as Antelope Valley, it is not unusual to have aspects that don’t work as planned,” Beutler said. “In this case, a problem was identified, project leadership demanded accountability on behalf of taxpayers, and good corporate citizens stepped in to fix the problems. It is a successful conclusion to a difficult challenge.”

The repair plans were approved by federal and state officials in August. Repair work will begin on the Military Road Bridge and will proceed south to the “Y”, Vine, “P”, “Q”, “O” and “N” street bridges. Temporary trail closures will be necessary.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Buzz
    Sep 13 2011

    Who are the corporate good citizens that stepped in to fix the problem? I thought it was the consultants and contractors that were responsible for the problem; initially; and I wouldn’t say they stepped up to fix the problem, they didn’t volunteer to make amends until after the inspection pointed out the extent of the problems — even though it was apparent that problems existed.

    Reply
  2. pirgirl
    Sep 13 2011

    how much will the roadway expansion joints cost the city to repair? Shouldn’t all this be considered the same problem??????

    Reply
  3. Roberta
    Sep 14 2011

    If there was a problem now, it will be there down the road and paid for by the taxpayers. Generally a fix isn’t as good as original.

    Reply
  4. porcuepine
    Sep 14 2011

    It is the best we could hope for know.

    Reply

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