A Message From Mayor Rizzo Regarding the Winthrop Ave. Project
May 22, 2014
This past September, we discovered a broken sewer line over 25 feet below Winthrop Avenue putting at risk the safe and effective sewer flow for nearly 20 percent of the city’s residents. As a result, crews from the DPW were forced to take emergency measures. These measures, including a solution to the problem, were originally slated to take a little over 3 months, which at the time would have taken us to right about Thanksgiving. As we now know, it has taken much longer than that.
By nature, I am a patient person. But I have to admit, like many of you, I am angered and frustrated over the time it took to rectify this situation. A project of this magnitude, particularly in an emergency can have many unexpected complications. In fact, we almost anticipated some delays. Certain delays were caused by the permitting process, others due to design modifications and change orders, and others merely as a result of planning and coordination with the various governmental agencies involved. Things don’t always go as planned- but six (6) months over the projected date of completion is completely unacceptable.
I have asked our City Solicitor to review the contract with Albanese D&S Inc (our contractor) as well as CDM Smith (our project engineer) to see what, if any, action can be taken against either firm. We have asked for an updated “progress schedule” to see if work could have been completed at a faster rate. The progress schedule is legally enforceable. If we discover that this progress schedule was intentionally ignored or, if it was not being enforced by our engineers, the city will consider whether to exercise its option to terminate the contract. The city is also exploring its option to withhold payment or seek other damages for any unnecessary delays or setbacks with this project. This is an obligation I have to you, our Water, and Sewer rate payers.
On behalf of the entire administration, I offer our apologies and thank so many of you for your patience as we continue to finalize the work being done in that area.