MORONI—Completion of what has become a $4.6 million culinary water expansion project in Moroni is still about a year out, the project manager told the Moroni City Council recently.
Moreover, based on the amount of a contract awarded recently to Terry R. Brotherson Excavating (TRB) of Mt. Pleasant for $4,144,018, which covers 90 percent of the expansion, the project has also gone $1 million over the original $3.54 million budget.
The cost increase reflects steep inflation in building materials and construction labor. Trent Brown, manager for the project for Sunrise Engineering, the city’s consulting engineering firm, said the Utah Division of Drinking Water, which provided the initial grant and loan, has pledged supplementary funding to cover the overrun.
Among other features, the project includes a well, a water tank and a pipeline from both the new well and an existing well to a ridge north of town where water tanks are located.
“When a well is part of the project, the process takes time,” Brown told the Messenger. “The appropriate permits need to be obtained from the state. Some of the permits could not be obtained until acquisition of property for the well site was finalized.”
On top of that, unexpected problems arose during drilling. After a test well showed an excel- lent quantity and quality of water, the drilling contractor ran into problems with the production well, the well that will provide the water that goes into the culinary system.
Drilling on two production wells had to be stopped, the wells capped, more property acquired, and a third well drilled. But the final well is essentially complete, Brown told the city council Aug. 18.
“The well is completed and awaiting the installation of a pump and well house as part of the upcoming contract” awarded to TRB, he said.
The good news, Brown said, is that it looks like the well phase, originally projected to cost about $490,000, will come in $10,000 under budget.
TRB will also put in the pipeline through town, the new water tank, the well house and an overflow line near the water tanks. If the tanks ever overflow, the overflow line will carry the water to a retention pond.
“We’re working with them (TRB) on the schedule,” Brown told the council. “…They’ve talked about starting the overflow pipeline in late fall and doing that through the winter and leaving the rest of the project until next spring, so we don’t have the city tore up, so we don’t have roads tore up and concrete freezing,” during the winter.
Councilman Craig Draper asked when the contractor might start on the main parts of the project. “If I had a crystal ball, I probably could tell you, but most likely, sometime in April (2023),” Brown said.
“We’re bidding the pipeline and the head house (well house) under one bid,” Draper said. “Couldn’t they come in and maybe work on the head house during the winter?”
In order to attract contractors, Sunrise Engineering, which was responsible for the bidding process, had to offer a flexible schedule, Brown said.
The contract gives TRB until as late as April 1, 2023, to start work, Brown said. Once the company does start, it has six months to complete the project.
However, the contract allows for a winter shutdown. If TRB starts in the next few weeks, the time spent during 2022 will be subtracted from the six months. The company has until April 1, 2023, to start up again. At that point, it has the balance of the six months, minus time put in this year, to complete.
At the council meeting, Brown also gave a progress report, in which he ticked off aspects of the culinary water project that are now complete. They include preliminary engineering, surveys and geotechnical studies of the well site, well design and electrical design related to the well.
Other work Sunrise has completed for the city includes bidding out the well project, verifying that the selected contractor met insurance and bonding requirements, supervising well construction, final closeout of the well project, and bidding and initiating oversight of contract with TRB.