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Cost overruns could cost Watertown $300,000 more for Clinton Street project

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A series of problems encountered during the Clinton Street reconstruction may end up costing the city nearly $300,000.

City Engineer Kurt W. Hauk has asked the Watertown City Council to approve a $292,006.99 change order for general contractor North Country Contractors LLC, Calcium, because of sewer and water line repairs that had not been anticipated. Council members are expected to discuss the change order when they meet at 7 p.m. today in City Hall, 245 Washington St.

In a Nov. 9 memo, Mr. Hauk wrote that the additional costs in the $1.5 million project were caused by construction crews having to complete additional excavation work and to relocate a water main and a storm sewer. If the change order is approved, the cost of the Clinton Street project will increase to $1,750,006.99.

According to the agreement with North Country Contractors, it could adjust the price if it differs with the amount of the material used in the project, which happened, Mr. Hauk wrote.

“The negotiated solution was to pay the contractor for the actual work completed for the installation of the sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer,” he wrote. Mr. Hauk could not be reached for comment Friday.

The problems were discovered after a torrential storm Sept. 5 that caused flooding in the Medical Arts Building, 171 Clinton St., and across the street at Clinton Court apartments.

In October, Mr. Hauk blamed employees of North Country Contractors for mistakenly capping a roof drainage pipe that ran underground between the Medical Arts Building and the office building next door at 161 Clinton St., causing water to back up and flood the offices of Dr. Moid Khan.

Construction crews also were working to correct a problem with a catch basin down the street and in front Clinton Court apartments. But Mother Nature interfered before they were able to complete that job, causing some flooding there, Mr. Hauk said then.

Aside from those problems, the Clinton Street project, from Washington Street to South Massey Street, is on schedule and within budget. In recent days, base paving was completed to ease winter driving conditions. Work crews will have to return in the spring to do the top paving, sidewalks and finishing work.

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