Niagara Gazette

March 29, 2013

New wrinkle on Lewiston Road

By Justin Sondel
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Finishing up the Lewiston Road project is going to cost more than the city had originally anticipated.

Accadia Site Contracting, Inc., the company that won a bid to complete the road work after the city removed the previous contractor, Man O' Trees, Inc., from the job, estimates that it now needs to perform $130,000 worth of additional work.

Mayor Paul Dyster's administration is asking the city council to approve a change order on the original contract with Accadia to cover what the city is describing as "corrective" work. The proposal will be up for consideration during Monday's council meeting. 

"Our intention would be to seek this amount as part of the lawsuit in which the city is seeking restitution from the former contractor," Dyster said, referring to the $130,000.

Dyster said the city cannot expect Accadia to guarantee work they did not perform, and so, it is the administration's position that the "corrective" work should be paid for by Man O' Trees.

"Had it been the original contractor still on the job we would have asked them to repair the damaged pavement," Dyster said. "It would be the city's position that Man O' Trees should have to pay for this work."

John P. Bartelomei, the attorney representing Man O' Trees and its owner David Pfeiffer in the lawsuit, did not return multiple calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.

The change order - the first to be requested on the contract - would bump the cost of the city's agreement with Accadia from $4.36 million to $4.49 million.

The long-stalled reconstruction project has progressed since Accadia took over in October. The company, along with the engineering consultants, Wendel Duchscherer, found issues with the pavement that Man O' Trees installed, according to the resolution submitted for council approval by Dyster's office. The resolution suggests the pavement in question will need to be removed and replaced.

Susan Sherwood, a representative from Wendel Duschcherer, said the company found issues with the pavement while preparing to move forward with the final stages of the project.

"We knew that there was going to be a certain amount of corrective work that needed to be done," Sherwood said.

The city does not anticipate any major issues going forward, but said you can never be certain with road projects like Lewiston Road, Sherwood said.

"Whenever you're doing below grade work there's always a chance that you will run into something unforeseen," Sherwood said.

Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said he plans on asking a few questions about the project and where the funds will come from before casting his vote on the resolution on Monday.

"We just have to make sure the funds are there," Choolokian said.