May 27, 2018
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Rockland’s own ‘big dig’ to start again April 30

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Road closures and rerouting of traffic will start again Monday, April 30, as the city’s major sewer project comes out of winter hibernation.

But the $231,637 in added costs that were in dispute when the project stopped in November remain unresolved.

The city issued a news release Friday announcing the schedule of work, which will begin on Limerock Street, from Custom House Place to Union Street, beginning April 30.

That section of Limerock Street is expected to reopen May 18.

Work also will start April 30 and continue for an estimated two weeks between Grace Street and Park Street. Travel along Grace Street will be limited to local traffic, and there will be lane closures on Park Street.

Meanwhile, City Manager James Smith said Monday there has been no resolution concerning who will pay for additional costs billed to the city for what were classified last year by the contractor as unexpected costs.

Harold Warren Construction submitted a claim above the contracted price of $122,637 last year for unforeseen ledge and undisclosed water lines along Limerock Street.

And the construction company submitted a change-of-work order late last year when a previously undetected vault of FairPoint Communications fiber-optic cables was located at the intersection of Union and Limerock streets. The cost to avoid those lines was projected at $109,000.

Then interim City Manager Tom Luttrell said last November that someone should have known about the water and fiber-optic lines before the project began. The City Council met with its attorney in February on the matter.

City Manager Smith said the city, Warren Construction and engineers Wright-Pierce still are talking about who will pick up the added costs. He said the matter has not gone to arbitration.

The $231,637 in unplanned expenses exceeds the $200,000 contingency in the $2.5 million sewer project.

Rockland received a $2.25 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a $261,500 grant from the USDA for the project.

The project tied up various parts of Main and Limerock Street last summer before halting in November.

In its release last week, the city also announced that, starting May 9 and continuing through June 1, work on Limerock Street will move west of Union Street. Travel along Limerock Street between Union and High streets will be limited to local traffic only, and no traffic will be allowed to turn onto Limerock Street from Union Street. Road closures will be adjusted as excavation progresses.

From June 1 through June 15, work moves to Claremont Street, which will be closed to through traffic. At that point, Limerock Street west of Union Street will reopen.

From June 18 through June 22, work moves to Masonic Street, which will be closed to through traffic. Claremont Street will reopen.

Some additional closures will be necessary for street paving, and every effort will be made to notify the public before they occur, the city stated in its release.

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