August 16, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 33

Harbor Board and engineers look at options to reduce North Harbor costs

The Petersburg Harbor Board held a work session Friday afternoon in order to discuss options for reducing costs regarding the reconstruction of the North Harbor.

PND Project Engineer, Dick Somerville, provided the board with five options to possibly decrease the $2.2 million overage in the $7 million budget.

“Many of the cost increases are due to time,” Somerville said. “When the project was originally budgeted, costs for electrical supplies were 40 percent lower.”

Somerville explained that there are approximately three miles of 2 ¼ inch diameter copper wiring needed in order to complete this project.

“The price of copper 18 months ago was $18 per foot and now it is $28,” Somerville stated. “These are market driven costs that no one has control over.”

Each of the five options presented by Somerville are quite similar with varied differences in materials decreasing costs.

Option one calls for polyethylene tub floats that are 12 feet wide. This option comes with a base bid of just over $6.9 million with alternative costs estimating just over $2.2 million for a total of $9.2 million. This is the original estimate including every possible upgrade the city wanted.

Option two includes polyethylene tub floats that are 10 feet wide. This option has a base bid of just over $6.9 million with additional alternatives in the amount of $1.75 million which totals just over $8.6 million.

Option three includes polyethylene tub floats that are 10 feet wide with a base bid of just over $7.7 million and additional alternatives in the amount of $883,000 bringing the total of this option to just under $8.7 million.

Option four includes treated glulam floats that are 10 feet wide. Option four has a base bid of $6.9 million with two additional alternatives. Alternative A would reinstall sections of the existing float two at the cost of $156,000 and alternative B would install the remaining section of the new float two at an additional cost of $1.3 million bringing the total for option four to $8.3 million.

Option five includes treated glulam floats that are 10 feet wide. This option has a base bid of $7.4 million with an additional alternative to install remaining finger floats on float two at the cost of $883,000 bringing the total of option five to $8.3 million.

“The board decided to go with option three,” Somerville said. “The polyethylene tub floats are slightly higher in price but will extend the service life of the facility.”

These polyethylene tub floats will ensure that the heavy timber deck structure remains out of the water.

“We have been concerned about the funding options for this project,” Harbor Board member Mike Bangs said. “I believe we have come up with a good compromise with these options.”

Bangs also explained that the board hoped that the additional alternatives may be something that could be done in-house. “We could possibly add two or three stalls per year to increase the amount of boats that can be moored here,” he stated. “We just don't want to put the City in a position where we will be strapped.”

Originally the plans called for three phase electrical power for both sides of Float 1. The northerly side of float one provides stalls of 60 to 75 feet in length for larger vessels. The three phase power will remain for that portion of the reconstruction. Float two houses stalls of 32 to 42 feet in length for smaller vessels will continue to have single phase electrical power.

“This change will reduce the overall amount of power provided to the harbor.” Somerville said. “This alone will save approximately $200,000.”

At this time, the cost of the North Harbor reconstruction has decreased from $9.2 to just under $8.7 million.

“We are still overall $1.7 million over budget for the entire project,” Somerville said. “However, without the additional alternatives, the base cost of this project could come in at just over $7.7 million.”

Somerville explained that they could still cut some of the finger floats back enough to come in at the budgeted $7 million and the additional alternatives, in the amount of $800,000 each, could be added at a later date when extra funding can be secured.

This project is paid for by a 50/50 matching grant from the state. The state will pay no more than $3.5 million of the total cost. Anything over the city's $3.5 million portion will have to be funded in another way.

These options and the Harbor Board decision will go to the City Council at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20.

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