Augusta Commission, Utilities reach $290,000 settlement with contractor Pittman Construction

 

The Augusta Commission agreed Monday to pay $290,000 to settle a claim that Augusta Utilities caused a delay in the ongoing widening of Bobby Jones Expressway near Deans Bridge Road.

Utility Director Tom Wiedmeier said contractor Pittman Construction was getting ready to work at the site near the Augusta Fire Department administration when it found city sanitary sewer and water lines in the way.

“We scrambled to get our stuff out of the way, then they filed a claim against us for delaying them,” Wiedmeier said.

City attorneys negotiated what was initially a claim of more than $1 million down to the $290,000 settlement Monday, while the engineer responsible for locating the utilities is no longer employed by Augusta, he said.

Scheduled for completion in June, the widening of Bobby Jones from four lanes to six has been delayed to at least Dec. 22, according to Georgia Department of Transportation. DOT spokeswoman Cissy McNure in June attributed the delays to weather and other issues, including difficulty locating water lines near Deans Bridge Road.

The commission approved two other settlements after a closed session with attorneys Monday: the receipt of $41,536 from a concrete company that damaged a Phinizy Road gate, and a $58,079 payment to Arbor Equity for a claim related to work performed after the February ice storm.

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