New engineering firm consulted
By Bert Lehman
In an effort to move the Ninth Street sidewalk project forward, the city of Clintonville has contacted a different engineering firm and is exploring different repair options.
City Administrator Chuck Kell informed the Clintonville City Council that he received a letter from MSA Professional Services shortly before the start of the April 11 council meeting.
The letter explained why the bids came in high to fix the Ninth Street sidewalk situation.
“Basically that letter says that the reasons for associate high construction figures that we got on the initial bids for replacement was because typically vaulted projects are done as part of the street reconstruction project,” Kell said. “In this case it was a standalone project that wasn’t involving a total street reconstruction.”
Kell said the letter also stated that if the city is willing to keep the vaulted sidewalk in place, MSA requested to seek pricing to stabilize and waterproof the concrete sidewalk and the reinforcing steel that is in the sidewalk. The letter indicated that MSA had already contacted experts to take a look at Clintonville’s situation.
An itemized breakdown of the initial bids, which the city had requested, still hadn’t been supplied to the city from MSA, Kell said.
Kell added that his opinion is that MSA offered this solution because the city’s staff pointed them to it. Just as he informed the Street Committee a week prior, he told the council the city approached another engineering firm in an effort to find a cost-effective solution.
This engineering firm, Martenson & Eisele, Inc. of Menasha, consulted with a large construction firm that performs parking ramp rehabilitations, which involves concrete falling. The council was presented a proposal from Martenson & Eisele, which would include having the construction firm look at the Ninth Street vaulted sidewalk in Clintonville. This inspection would help determine if the sidewalk could be repaired with it remaining a vaulted sidewalk. It would also help determine the cost of those repairs.
The entire proposal had a cost of $7,400, but Kell told the council he wasn’t in favor of approving the entire proposal because part of the proposal duplicates steps the city has already taken. Instead, he recommended approving engineering feasibility of the project, which would include city representatives meeting with the construction firm. This would cost $700.
If the project was deemed to be feasible and the city wanted to proceed, then the city would move forward with final documents and estimates, which would cost $1,400.
After those two steps are completed, he recommended bringing it back to the council to decide on the direction to take.
Kell recommended the council approve contracting with Martenson & Eisele, but he wouldn’t sign any contracts for about a week. This would allow him time to discuss the situation with MSA to see if they had a viable and cost-effective solution.
If the city ultimately contracts with Martenson & Eisele, Kell said the company would have a quick turnaround time to do the feasibility study.
Kell pointed out that keeping the Ninth Street sidewalk a vaulted sidewalk might not be a long-term solution.
“It might be something that buys us 10-15 years,” Kell said.
There may also be additional costs to keep MSA working on a different solution, which would involve obtaining new bids, Kell said.
“They delivered on what they said they would deliver under their initial contract,” Kell said. “It’s just it wasn’t acceptable to the city because of the cost.”
The council unanimously approved contracting with Martenson & Eisele with the total cost not to exceed $2,100, with the funds to come from the surplus of the Maize Street reconstruction project.