Work progresses on Miami wastewater project

Photo by Carol Broeder Field Engineer Nohe Garcia, with KE&G Construction, Inc., of Tucson, updates the Miami Town Council on the Miami Wastewater Collection System Improvement Project, at its Sept. 24 regular meeting.

The Miami Town Council unanimously approved two payment applications totaling more than $518,000, as recommended by its Wastewater Advisory Board.

One bill for $398,375.90 is payable to Tucson-based KE&G Construction, Inc. for sewer work completed, while the other is for $120,262.27 to the Town of Miami for its sewer project-related expenses.

All payment applications are subject to agreement by the funding agency, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Prior to its vote at the Sept. 24 regular council meeting, KE&G Field Engineer Nohe Garcia provided an update on construction progress on Phases 3-5 of the Miami Wastewater Collection System Improvement Project.

Garcia’s update was on the construction’s progress through Friday, Aug. 31.

All mainline sewer pipe in Phase 3 of the project had been completed, and the billing included Milton and Cherry Flats Roads, he said.

KE&G had started installing the 15-inch mainline sewer pipe on Cactus Alley but had run into conflicts with the Arizona Water Company and Salt River Project, which have since been resolved, Garcia said.

No manholes were rehabbed, as assessment had shown that “not all manholes calling for rehab will require it,” he said.

KE&G plans to adjust manholes in Phase 5, so rehab can begin, Garcia told the council.

Five cleanouts had been installed on new pipe, in completion of Phase 3. Forty-five cleanouts were installed on existing pipe, so Phase 3 will be complete when Latham Boulevard is done, he said.

Six manholes at Miami Gardens were abandoned, Garcia said.

Councilwoman Rosemary Castaneda asked, “How was the old pipe?” to which Garcia replied that “every single pipe has been videoed,” and that badly deteriorated pipe would get the new lining.

The project includes KE&G’s sub-contractor, InsituForm Technologies, lining some deteriorated pipe with a “pipe within a pipe,” which is supposed to increase the useful life of the pipe by decades.

During the Sept. 20 Miami Wastewater Advisory Board meeting, KE&G reported there had been “lots of challenges” in the project, including unknown or unmarked utilities; locating lateral service lines; challenges specific to Milton Road, such as redesign, repairs, protection from storms and a retaining wall; and conflicts with Arizona Water Company during construction on Cactus Alley.

Project successes included completed paving at Miami Gardens/Milton Road; assisting the Town of Miami in repairing leaks in Rags Canyon; and bringing an extra crew on board to work on lateral service lines in Miami Gardens.

A graph on construction schedule and progress that KE&G distributed at the Sept. 20 meeting indicates that Phase 3 of the project, which began in May, was at 65 percent, while Phase 5, which began in August, was at 15 percent, both as of Sept. 14.

Phase 4 of the project is scheduled to begin in March 2019, according to the graph.

A KE&G graph tracking construction costs shows a change order of $42,512.69 in Phase 3, with the estimated cost-to-date at $2,540,046.31, as of Sept. 14. The original bid amount was $2,582,559.

Phase 5 shows a change order of $261,814.55, with the estimated cost-to-date of $5,384.496.45, also as of Sept. 14. The original bid amount was $5,646,311.

Phase 4 is currently at an estimated cost of $2,218,778 with no change orders.

The project’s total estimated cost-to-date is $10,143.320.76, which is currently $304,327.24 less than the original contract of $10,447, 648.

During the Sept. 24 council meeting, Councilmember Mike Black asked if part of the reason the project was under budget “due to the manholes,” which was confirmed.

By a 6-0 vote at its Feb. 8 meeting, the Miami Town Council had approved the $10,447,648 contract with KE&G Construction for Phases 3-5 of the improvement project, as recommended by the Miami Wastewater Advisory Board.

Black had an excused absence from the Feb. 8 meeting.

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