published Friday, June 28th, 2013

Jasper, Tenn., board OKs spending change for bridge project

JASPER, Tenn. — City leaders have approved a change order for the water line on the new bridge crossing the Tennessee River along U.S. Highway 41, but officials said that part of the project still is well within budget.

Last month, the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen hired Chattanooga Mechanical Contractors Inc. to install the anchors and sleeves that hold the water line in place across the bridge.

At its June meeting, the board voted unanimously to grant a $2,339 change order increase to the original $34,400 contract.

The change was because of an apparent misunderstanding between contractor and CTI Engineers Inc. about the original bid specifications, Mayor Paul Evans said.

"The contractor had the understanding that it was either going to be a zinc plating on these rods or galvanized," he said. "He based his bid on zinc. [The contractor] was under the impression it was for a zinc-coated rod."

Gary Cosby of CTI informed the contractor that the anchor rods would have to be galvanized, Evans said, and the city didn't "have any other choice" but to accept the increase in cost.

Even with the increase in cost, Alderman Paul "Mac" Bumpus said the city still is $40,000 under budget on this particular line item for the water line project.

The city had budgeted $70,000 for the anchor installation, and Chattanooga Mechanical's bid came in well under that last month.

It is still "a good deal," Bumpus said.

Evans said he told Cosby that "these items should be addressed" before a change order is needed.

"I don't like change orders," he said. "Not at all."

The increase includes $2,013 for the galvanized rods and $326 for lengthening the rods by 2.5 inches and "spreading them out" another four inches to accommodate insulation, Evans said.

Officials said construction on the bridge decking should begin sometime in July, and the anchors for the water line will be installed at the same time.

"We're just sitting there waiting right now," Evans said. "We're still in good shape. We have to work at their pace."

The new bridge is scheduled to open in February 2014, officials said.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34 @gmail.com.

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