The culvert near 712 E. Alabama St. is in desperate need of repair due to erosion. City commissioners agreed to hire Harris-McBurney to handle the project.
A massive project will soon be underway on East Alabama Street as the city prepares to completely remove and replace a culvert in the area.
Commissioners unanimously agreed to hire Harris-McBurney Company to construct the new concrete box culvert for $283,120.22. Bids were advertised on April 5 and three came through, with Harris-Burney coming in as the lowest responsive and responsible bid. The other two asked for $345,180 and $379,696 to complete the project.
“We hired a consultant that went in and did inspections on all of our bridges and culverts throughout the city and they filed this giant report giving us condition assessments of all of them, and there are many,” City Manager Bill McDaniel said. “During those inspections, this defect, it’s basically damage where the thing had eroded over the years and there was a hole in the pipe, it was causing erosion, it was discovered through our inspection process.”
Once the city was made aware of the issue, it quickly turned around and began the process of getting it repaired. However, such a complex issue meant there wasn’t a simple patch job that could remedy the problem.
The entire system would need to be replaced and that was going to cost the city a pretty penny.
Steel plates were deployed to maintain a safe condition for the area over the damaged culvert while the company took the time to build a new box culvert.
The funds for the impressive repair are coming from the Capital Improvement Program’s bridge repair section.
The approximate location for the culvert is 712 E. Alabama St. and the contractor is expected to replace the culvert, maintain traffic control, detours and avoid blocking the canal in case of a storm or flooding. The contractor will also be repaving the roadway and restoring the six-foot sidewalk on the north side of the roads.
They will also have to remove all of the existing concrete and unsuitable backfield so the new culvert can smoothly go into place.
The city said it constantly does proactive surveys and studies of its various assets around town to ensure it always stays ahead of major issues. Rather than wait until a problem occurs it attempts to have an in-depth reading of the state of all of its amenities so it can plan accordingly for large repairs.
“It’s a significant problem and we need to get on it quickly,” McDaniel said. “Government does tend to move slowly because there are so many steps, but we’ve done this as fast as possible because it’s a significant problem. It’s a significant repair, we’re going to have to remove that entire structure from the canal, completely rebuild it and install a brand new box culvert. So you’ll be getting the entire drainage system removed, a brand new one put in place and all of the surrounding dirt, foundation, the roadway base and the new roadway will be constructed there. That’s why it’s so expensive, it’s a total removal and rebuild.”