Hilre Drive extension price increased to $ 33,000

Sherman’s extension to Hilre Drive is about to get more expensive than originally anticipated. A change order of $ 32,900 for an engineering contract with Jones / Cartner Engineering for the design work of the project, which will extend the pavement and alleviate potentially dangerous traffic conditions, was recently approved by city council.

The need to expand Hilre Drive to West Travis emerged as developers presented plans for an apartment complex near the intersection of North Travis Street and North Creek Drive. Citizens and developers have raised concerns that the project will exacerbate traffic along North Creek, particularly at two stop signs located in the immediate vicinity of the intersections with Knollwood and Travis.

“A few years ago, the city entered into a contract with Jones and Carter to design the Hilre Drive extension,” said Wayne Lee, director of engineering at Sherman. “After starting the design of this 425-foot paving, they discovered that to properly pave and design the street, we will need approximately 475 feet of off-site drainage to install. “

From there, city crews began work on an extension of Hilre Drive that would allow the city to abandon part of Knollwood Road and alleviate the need for the stop sign. The change would also allow the Texas Department of Transportation to install a stop light at the Travis intersection.

However, engineers are now discovering design challenges that require more drainage capacity, and with that, more design and engineering needs for pavements and right-of-way. The change order brings the total cost of the contract to $ 82,400.

The change order met with opposition from Board Member Sandra Melton who expressed her aversion to change orders for projects that should have a fixed price.

“I think everyone knows I hate change orders, and I really hate it when it says not to exceed – and it clearly says not to exceed – $ 49,500,” she said. .

Wayne Lee: “A few years ago the city signed a contract with Jones and Carter to design the Hilre Drive extension. After embarking on the design of this 425 foot paving, they discovered that to properly pav and design the street, we will need approximately 475 feet of offsite drainage to be installed. “

Melton asked if the scope of the change order is work that could be done internally with city resources. Lee noted that it could, but it may not be the best use of resources, given the work that has already been done.

“Since the surveyor has already surveyed the adjacent property and done this engineering, I think it’s best to keep him with them,” he said.

Mayor David Plyler noted that changes in the scope of a project are not unheard of, and there are times when these changes in scope require the extension of a contract. The work could be done in-house, but the scope and requirements of the project may make project outsourcing a better option as it allows staff to continue with their usual tasks.

The city also risked liability issues by having two teams of engineers for the project, he added.

“It’s not a question of whether our guys are smart enough,” he said. “It’s a question of whether we have the capacity and the bandwidth to do it internally.”

In a vote, Melton was the only vote against.

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