Weston road project goes over budget, doesn't finish on time

WESTON, Mo. — The major road work project on Washington and Spring streets in Weston will extend further into the winter.

The Weston Board of Aldermen last week approved an extension of the project — as well as authorizing change orders that increases the project’s price tag by about $110,000. Civil engineer Dan Miller of Lamp Rynearson, the construction management firm, presented the bad news at the Monday, Dec. 19 board meeting. 

“We’re not as far over budget as we are over time,” Miller said. 

The project started in July, after several delays, mostly due to problems in obtaining easement rights from property owners. Eventually, the city was forced to file condemnation petitions against some holdout property owners so the project could proceed. 

Voters approved the $2.3 million project to rebuild Washington from Fifth Street to the Washington Street bridge and Spring from Washington to Prospect Street in August 2013. The project includes water and sewer line replacement, as well as construction of storm sewer pipes and catch basins. New sidewalks, curbs, gutters and roadway are also included.

Miller said the project timetable of 115 construction days — finishing up by Christmas —  was very optimistic, and although contractor VF Anderson Builders worked every available day — and sometimes on overtime — there have been 130 work days completed so far, with at least another 40 work days to go. The change orders approved $55,000 to VF Anderson, in part to cover additional asphalt costs, and $46,000 to Lamp Rynearson for engineering and consulting services. 

This brings the project total to about $2.6 million, with a tentative completion date of Feb. 3, 2017. 

Costs crept up over the last few months when contractors discovered adverse substrate conditions that needed to be corrected with more asphalt underlay to provide solid bases for the new curbs and gutters. Storm sewers were also extended on Spring Street and additional drainage work was needed near the West Platte school buildings on Washington Street. 

City officials have also faced complaints from property owners within the work area, who say trees in their yards have been damaged. Others say their access to their own properties has been cut off for extended periods, and that the work has caused drainage problems. 

Weston mayor Kent Stelljes urged property owners to have patience with the work, and those present at the meeting acknowledged that VF Anderson crews had tried to accommodate their needs when they could. 

Miller told residents he would investigate their concerns and hopefully some could be addressed within the next few weeks. As for additional work, such as the final layers of asphalt overlay, the work is weather-dependent. If the weather stays unseasonably warm, asphalt could be placed in the winter. Another extreme cold snap could delay work until spring.