September 21, 2022 |

The Spring Avenue water line replacement project is unlikely to be completed this year.

On Tuesday, members of the Saratoga Public Works Department met with T-O Engineering and Lewis & Lewis to discuss the ongoing delays with the Spring Ave Project.

T-O Engineering, out of Cheyenne, was hired by the town of Saratoga to draw up plans to replace aging water pipes in Saratoga, from Spring Avenue to River Street. Lewis & Lewis, from Rock Springs, successfully bid for the contract.

The contractor has been stalled by ground water in the boring pit next to Town Hall. Josh Ward, a representative from Lewis and Lewis, blamed their water pump supplier, Rain for Rent.

Rain for Rent was not present at the meeting.

If Lewis and Lewis can’t dewater the bore pit soon, the boring contractor, Coleman Construction, will move on to another job. Ward did not know when Coleman would be able to return. He was confident that once the bore pit was dry, Coleman would make it to the other side of 1st Street. Ward said they have a backup plan if they are unable to make the bore pit workable for the drilling team.

Ward said they are concerned about boring under Route 130. Lewis and Lewis would not be able to complete the project by winter. They would need to plug the end of the exposed bore pipe to prevent water from collecting under the road. Ward said if the seal fails then 1st Street will be compromised.

“The Worst” would be the road collapsing into a sink hole. Ward said he believes that will not happen. They have to wait and see if they can get the bore pit dry enough for Coleman to drill.

Councilman Ron Hutchins asked Ward if his team could be doing anything else while they waited on the bore pit. Ward said they will start prepping the intersection of 3rd and Spring for paving.

Ward acknowledged that his team would not make the mid-October deadline. He would like to keep the project going until the weather makes it impossible to continue. Knowing they’ll be back next spring; Ward doesn’t want to pave everything. He suggested putting down gravel, but it can’t be plowed. Ward offered another solution. His team can lay down temporary asphalt.

Ward said the water lines will be done this year. Saratoga Public Works Director Jon Winter was skeptical.

Councilman Hutchins asked Ward for a recovery plan that would put into writing how they will complete the project. A recovery plan is part of the contract Lewis and Lewis have with T-O Engineering. Hutchins said that talking about problems is not the same as having a written strategy.

Ward said they are looking into bringing in a different water removal company because Rain for Rent has brought several faulty pumps to the job site.

The contractor will have to deal with more ground water soon. Richard Raymer, chairman of the Saratoga Impact Joint Powers Board, said the water level will rise in the fall when the trees go dormant.

Lewis and Lewis will have to find a new contractor to pump out the water. They’ll also have to come up with a written recovery plan to present to the town and T-O Engineering. Ward and his guys are going to have to throw everything they have at this project to have a chance of getting it done before winter.

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