PLATTEVILLE — The Water Street construction project is requiring work on a street damaged by road construction equipment.
The Platteville Common Council Sept. 25 approved spending $67,500 to make repairs on East Madison Street.
The repairs are required because of a combination of the hot summer, damage caused by equipment working on the Water Street project and, unknown to city officials, poorly designed work on East Madison Street in 1973.
“The trucks have to go somewhere,” said Director of Public Works Howard Crofoot, who told workers from Iverson Construction in Kieler to use Jewett and Madison streets to get to Lancaster Street (Wisconsin 81) instead of Hathaway Street, which was rebuilt in 2011.
“I wasn’t here in ’73, so I didn’t know the street was built not to current standards,” said Crofoot of East Madison, which was built with just 3 inches of gravel base.
The $67,500 option involves milling and overlaying the entire street. It does not involve utility work in an area that has seen multiple water main breaks. Crofoot recommended that option to repairing only damaged areas for $47,300.
At-large Ald. Steve Becker voted against the project. Becker asked “who is responsible as part of this contract to make sure trucks didn’t drive on this street.”
“The contractor’s position is they were directed to use Jewett Street and Madison Street,” said Dan Dressens of Delta 3 Engineering, which did the engineering work on the Water Street project. “We put them on Jewett Street; Jewett started falling apart. We put them on Madison Street; Madison really started coming apart.”
Becker suggested Iverson should pay for part of the project through its insurance.
If the city pressed the issue, Dressens replied, “Contractors will talk, they’ll find out about that, and future projects will cost more because that’ll go into their bids.” He described the situation as “circumstances out of their control.”
Crofoot said the project cost is a discount from the $75,100 the project would have cost from a different contractor.
The project is being funded by the surplus in the Capital Improvement Project fund, which Finance Director Duane Borgen said comes from “a combination of the last two years of CIP projects … the majority is unspent monies.”
The city ordinarily uses CIP surpluses to reduce borrowing on capital projects.