Jacksonville, FL — For the second time, the contractor carrying out the reconstruction of Liberty Street and Coastline Drive on the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville is getting for more time and money for the project- and a third extension is already in the works as well.
In early 2015, a portion of Liberty Street collapsed, leading both roads to close in that immediate area. The City developed a plan to completely demolish those roads and the parking lot they surround- all of which are technically bridge structures, because they're built on pilings over the St. Johns River- and rebuild Liberty Street and Coastline Drive, but leave the lot space open.
Superior Construction Company Southeast LLC was awarded the project in 2016 for $24.7 million. About one year ago, they requested an additional $1,026,221.45, citing several factors like the need to repair the existing bulkhead wall and a decision to replace some benches, light poles, and other features. That addition also pushed the timeline for completion from July 2018 to February 2019, with the contract lasting through March 11, 2019.
WOKV has now obtained a second change order, which shows the contractor is getting another $199,551.41, as well as another timeline extension. That brings the total contract award to just over $25.9 million, with project completion estimated in May 20, 2019. The contract itself lasts through mid-June.
Public Works documents obtained by WOKV pointed to the likelihood that the City was planning for even more time for the project, and a City Spokesperson now confirms that a third change order has, in fact, been submitted and is currently under review. While the date has not been officially confirmed, the Public Works documents point to January 2020 as a likely new target completion date.
GALLERY: Liberty Street collapses
This second, approved change order is driven by three factors, according to the documents.
$20,249.49 is for replacing and enhancing the perimeter fence. The change order says the City requested that the contractor enhance the existing 10-foot chain link fence, with the City installing a barrier screen “to harmonize the surrounding areas”. An invoice shows that work includes installing 208 feet of a ten-foot high fence, installing a ten-foot gate, and modifying 180 feet of existing fence. 108 feet of existing six-foot fence is removed, as part of this change.
The second and most substantial portion of the cost is $125,623.08 for trailer relocation. Because of the adjacent demolition of the old County Courthouse and implosion of the City Hall Annex, the City asked Superior Construction to move their equipment and materials to a different spot on their work site. Superior Construction says that caused a disruption in managing the existing work and required them to re-task some crews to aid in the relocation. The move not only required heavy equipment rentals, but also reconnecting surveillance, utilities, and related areas, as well as manual labor-hours.
The final $53,678.84 of this change order accounts for costs incurred to handle an obstruction that was found below the River floor. Notice from Superior Construction says they found the obstruction when preparing to put down some piles, and it took several days to figure out a work-around. That plan involved using an auger to get through the obstruction, but Superior Construction says the cutter head was damaged in that process, so they had to repair it.
The City additionally tells WOKV “very deteriorated existing structure collapses” are to blame for the extension.
While the contract award now stands a little over $25.9 million, the City has actually budgeted $31 million for the project. WOKV asked the City for additional comment about their confidence this project will get done in the time and with the funding that’s now set, and we were told they’re not providing any additional comments.
We’re working to get more insight on the third change order, which is pending review, including whether there will be any additional funding sought. Stay with WOKV for updates as we confirm more information.