Town acts to recoup $1.2M owed on bridge project finished 7 years ago
Town Engineer William Hurley looks forward to putting construction of the Harbor Road bridge behind him.
"I can't wait to put the four or five file drawers full of paperwork in the basement" of Sullivan-Independence Hall, Hurley said at Wednesday afternoon's Board of Selectmen's meeting. "I can't wait for that to happen."
Construction of the two spans that comprise the bridge over the Mill River was completed about seven years ago, but the finances remained unsettled. On Wednesday, the selectmen voted 3-0 to authorize First Selectman Michael Tetreau to enter into a second supplemental agreement with the state so the town could receive the rest of its anticipated reimbursements on the project, which Hurley said total about $1.2 million.
"The $1.2 million we're still owed, they need this document signed in order to send us the check," Tetreau said.
The existing agreement between the town and state had to be revised to include additional costs related to construction and inspection and to remove a 15 percent cap on the ratio between inspection and construction costs, Hurley said.
He said the 100 percent reimbursement figure is $3,575,229, which was only $26,413 less than the actual cost of construction and inspections.
The $26,413 that was ineligible for reimbursement was for stainless steel hardware for the bridge's timber guiderail and to provide winter access to businesses housed in the Tide Mill Building, which sits between the two spans.
That $26,413 came from previous town Department of Public Works' budgets, Hurley said.
Hurley said contractors and consultants who worked on the new bridge have been paid in full. "No additional costs are required," he said.
Construction of the bridge's two spans also was a long time in coming because residents in the town's Southport neighborhood wanted to avoid the shiny steel guardrails typical on new bridges and instead wanted a more historic and rustic look.
The appearance of the spans also had to pass muster with the Fairfield Historic District Commission because the bridge is in the Southport Historic District.
Another factor contributing to the long construction timeframe was a billing dispute with a contractor over a change order.