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

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 9:11 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 12:25 AM
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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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nocnoc 08/12/14 - 12:10 am
So the taxpayers are paying almost a 1/3 of a million $$$$$$

because ARC didn't know where it S_____ was ☺



SEWER you dirty minded people.☺

BuTT, something STINKS about this whole situation.☺

Serious... now ... Aren't surveys usually conducted many months BEFORE work is start on such type projects?

GnipGnop 08/12/14 - 05:03 am
What kind of gate

Cost 40 grand??????

Graymare 08/12/14 - 07:29 am

They're just giving money away while the taxpayers have to suffer for it! Here is the real reason they want to increase our property taxes...they don't know how to run this county but they sure know how to ruin this county!

nocnoc 08/12/14 - 09:08 am


bdouglas 08/12/14 - 09:02 am
Most large contractors get

Most large contractors get fined for every day they miss their promised deadline on projects like this. If missing the deadline was compounded by negligence on the part of ARC not properly doing their locating of lines before the project began, then they should absolutely be held partially liable for it. Blame lies squarely on the county for that one.

sand gnat
sand gnat 08/12/14 - 09:27 am

I guess those employees, supervisors and department heads responsible for these fines will also receive the $500 bonus proposed by the county and paid for by the proposed tax increase?

Darby 08/12/14 - 03:11 pm
Calm down, nocnoc.....

all we're talking about here is a big pile of taxpayer's money.

And we know there's plenty more where that came from, don't we?

Just add that .25 percent back on to the millage rate increase. That should cover local government waste for at least fifteen minutes.

burninater 08/12/14 - 09:06 pm
Sand gnat, the article says

Sand gnat, the article says the engineer who failed to locate the water/sewer lines is no longer employed by Augusta.

I'd be curious whether these were active lines, or how old they were. I've been a party to hundreds of utilities clearances in my line of work, and in older metro areas abandoned and unknown utilities are the norm, not the exception. If these were modern or functioning lines, not marking their locations is plain negligence. On the other hand, defunct utilities that preceded modern record-keeping are usually located by putting a backhoe bucket or auger bit through them, followed by the question "what the heck was that?".

We once had a community college client who loved it whenever we showed up to do work on the property, as he was constantly able to update his map of where abandoned utilities were -- because we'd hit them during excavation. My favorite was when we hit an unmarked sewer pipe, and the facilities manager had his staff go from bathroom to bathroom, flushing to see whether it was an active one. Indeed, it was.

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