Another Spokane street project runs over budget

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by MIKE GONZALEZ & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 10:17 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The City of Spokane’s engineering department asked the city council Monday for an additional $100,000 to complete a street extension project on the Washington State University Campus in Spokane. 

The plan is now $215,000 over budget, making it the latest city street project facing budget problems.

WATCH: Greene Street Bridge more than $1 million over budget

As with the Greene Street Bridge project - which was running around $1 million over budget - the extra money for the WSU project would come from the city's street fund used to upgrade and fix roads. 

Both projects, however, were over budget for different reasons, city leaders said.

Crews working on the WSU project ran into difficulties excavating rock at the site.  Project leaders also had to coordinate their activities with construction on campus.

“The [WSU project] was really unforeseen circumstances,” said City of Spokane spokesman Brian Coddington.  "Once you open up a street, you find some difficult circumstances and that was the case with the rocks.  [With] the Greene Street Bridge project, we relied on the consultant for some advice and when we got to work there was a different set of circumstances there.”

A consultant hired for the Greene Street bridge out of Portland, David Evans, advised the city not to seal cracks on the bridge before the job was bid out, which led to crews later having to work around the clock to get the bridge finished.   

“I can't believe we had a contractor get hired by the city that we didn't even have come look at the bridge,” City Council Member Amber Waldref lamented.

The Greene Street Bridge was completely funded with $800,000 federal dollars and scheduled for completion in November.  As a result of the setbacks, the city planned to pay an extra $1 million.  The bridge would also open a month later than expected.  Meanwhile, legal action was pending to recoup some of the money lost.

There was no indication when the WSU project was scheduled to be finished.     

Coddington said, however, the Greene Street and WSU projects were the only street projects out of 32 in 2013 with major overages.

Altogether, those 32 projects cost the city $47 million.

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