The Modesto Irrigation District board on Tuesday approved three contracts to further correct botched work on the expansion of a water treatment plant providing tap water to Modesto customers. Negotiations with at least three firms are nearing an end, and settlement payments will cover the $3.7 million combined cost of Tuesday's contracts, officials said.
Design and construction flaws at the water treatment plant east of Waterford could add as much as $30 million to the $63 million cost of the expansion, officials have said. Initially expected to be completed in 2009, the errors will delay opening until summer 2015, said Greg Dias, the district's project manager.
Tuesday, the board agreed to pay:
$3.2 million to Carollo Engineers, for design and construction management. The firm landed a $3 million contract in 2010; it increased to $7.5 million in August 2011 to fix problems, and Carollo now expects to make $10.7 million.
$297,780 more to Ewing Construction Services, for a contract total of $1.14 million
$166,500 to Auburn Constructors for work associated with membrane filter basins, pipe supports and shoring up connections to steel roof pieces
Negotiations with Western Summit Constructors of Denver, the main contractor, are expected to wrap up in the next few weeks, Dias said. Talks with two other firms, including subcontractors supplying concrete and a filtering system, are ongoing.
Citing a confidentiality clause, the district has refused to release terms of an October tentative settlement with the engineering firm of Black & Veatch, based in Kansas, despite The Bee's legal arguments that review of public spending outweighs secret deals.
This week, district spokeswoman Melissa Williams said those terms may never be unveiled if the company asks a judge to seal them when approving the final deal. "That motion (would) be made by Black & Veatch, not MID," Williams said. "MID doesn't control that issue."
The expansion will double the plant's capacity, allowing Modesto to reduce reliance on wells.
Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2390.