JASPER, Tenn. — When construction of the new U.S. Highway 41 bridge across the Tennessee River was planned several years ago, it became Jasper's job to relocate the waterline that runs across the old bridge to Haletown, Tenn.
At its October meeting, the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to award the contract for construction of the new waterline to Danson Construction Inc. in Sparta, Tenn., for $517,000, pending approval by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Gary Cosby, an engineer with CTI Engineers Inc. in Chattanooga, said the only other bidder for the waterline construction was "quite a bit above" Danson's bid.
"I spoke with the owner of Danson, and he remained very confident about his bid despite the difference," he said. "He's done underground projects for our company and done very well. The price from Danson is within the budget that we had."
The board also voted unanimously to approve a $14,400 increase in the engineering services contract on the project.
The fees had to be increased, Cosby said, because so many parts of the project had to be "farmed out" to different contractors.
"The total fees we had ended up still well below what we budgeted for the project," Cosby said. "So, we've got a big cushion where we are, and I think we're going to end up well below that if everything goes OK on the job."
He said Jasper is still about $40,000 below the current budget for the waterline relocation project.
"We've awarded all the contracts, so we've got a pretty good idea of what it's going to take to do the project," Cosby said. "We've got everything covered now."
The bridge project had been scheduled for completion in spring 2014, but a recent disagreement between the contractor Britton Bridge and the state caused a work stoppage.
Cosby said it will be difficult to get the project back on schedule, and the town will be "waiting on them" before the waterline can be installed.
Alderman Steve Looney said there shouldn't be any surprises for the town to deal with as the bridge construction resumes.
"I hope not," Cosby said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.