Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hailey contractor makes $333K claim

Knife River says utility companies delayed Woodside project


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    The city of Hailey is headed toward mediation with Knife River Corp. and several utility companies over alleged delays that Knife River says cost the construction company $333,000 during the redevelopment of Woodside Boulevard last summer.  
    City Attorney Ned Williamson said in an interview that Knife River made claims last summer that the scheduling of underground gas, electrical and communications lines along Woodside Boulevard cost the company $333,000 more than expected for materials, trucking and staff overtime pay.
    “A claim has been made and we have to deal with it,” said Williamson.
    Williamson said Knife River claims 41 delays in road construction were due to “utility conflicts” with Idaho Power Co., Cox Communications, Century Link, Intermountain Gas Co. and the Hailey Public Works Department.
    “All utility companies are denying any liability,” said Williamson. He said the entire list of claims was made against Hailey because the city had contracted with Knife River to complete the project.
    “Hailey is exercising its right under the contract to mediate. If mediation is not successful, Knife River could sue Hailey and Hailey could bring in the utility companies,” Williamson said.
    Williamson said there is a “remote chance” that there would be a judgment against the city and that the city would not be able to get any money from the utility companies.
    Williamson said he expects mediation to take place in August or September.
    Knife River completed the $5.26 million reconstruction project in October 2012 after seven months. It included new road surfaces, sidewalks, bike lanes, pocket parking areas and other improvements along 2.5 miles of Woodside Boulevard.
     The project also added a traffic signal at the corner of Woodside Boulevard and state Highway 75, and a roundabout traffic feature at the intersection with Fox Acres Road.
    The budget for the project included a $3.5 million federal grant. Federal grant guidelines required that the city include bike paths and sidewalks on both sides of the road.




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