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Contingency budget approved to complete West Congress Street project in Sturgis

West Congress Street construction zone, Aug. 28. A contingency budget for the project was approved to cover unexpected expense and complete the reconstruction. (Dennis Volkert)

Sturgis City Commission on Wednesday approved a supplemental contingency budget of $45,000 for the West Congress Street improvement project. 

The construction, which involves the stretch from South Centerville to South Clay, has hit a standstill within the past month, due to various issues. City engineer Barry Cox outlined the situation Wednesday at the commissioners’ meeting.  

Initially, target time frame for completion of the street work was mid-August, but it has been revised to Oct. 6. 

Delays have occurred for several reasons, including storm sewer issues and installation method for a water main underneath the railroad tracks. 

Among challenges were basement flooding at a residential property on the street. One of the home’s roof drains were connected to a storm-sewer manhole. Additional cost was required to connect the drains and address some minor, related details, Cox told the board. 

For the situation at the rail crossing, the contractor needed to change the installation approach to accommodate the water line properly. In addition, due to Michigan Southern Railroad Company’s commitment to a customer on the railway south of the crossing, additional expense is required to transload product by semi-truck to prevent the business from closing until the product can be sent by rail, Cox told the board. 

Due to delays and issues with the project, city staff anticipates significant cost recovery on the majority of the added expense, either through liquidated damages or other contractual reimbursement, Cox said. 

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