Construction has begun on Phase 6 of the project from Riviera to Landon. The phase is expected to take 8 to 10 weeks to complete so we can expect completion of this section in early March. The contractor and City are in ongoing discussions about possible changes in the phasing schedule in order to facilitate completion on time and to accommodate the desire to limit work in the Square to the summer months. I am advised by Public Works that as of today, we are on schedule for completion in October 2012.
Our efforts to save some additional existing oak trees may be too costly in terms of both dollars and time. The contractor proposed a 25 day extension and substantial cost associated with the effort. I cannot in good conscience support any change that could delay the project that much and potentially impact the holiday season next year. However, the Mayor’s office has requested that the City’s project manager and the City’s Arborist meet this week with the contractor to see if perhaps additional elements of the enhanced tree protection plan can be incorporated without the significant time delay. In any case, we will be relocating the cathedral oak planted on Landon Avenue several years ago in mitigation for the old oak taken down in Landon Park. It will be moved into the park between the playground and San Marco Boulevard.
One very good piece of news is that the actual price of the project is substantially below the $12 million that was authorized and budgeted. Absent major change orders and unforeseen circumstances, I anticipate that the actual project cost will be closer to $7 million. I have obtained detailed information from the City Council Auditor on the various contracts and amounts paid out to date, and will be following the process closely. That $5 million dollar savings certainly comes at the right time for our City.
By the way, for those who are concerned about the raised manholes in the section from Gary to Riviera, another paving layer will be applied in the future. There has been some discussion about the pros and cons of applying the final layer on that section now or upon completion of the project in order to have a uniform color final coat for the entire project. No final decision has been reached.
City Council Member Lori Boyer