Home News Local News Asbestos waterline replacement cost decreases to $1 million

Asbestos waterline replacement cost decreases to $1 million

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Pictured are city of Roswell traffic drums around a gaping hole in an empty lot adjacent to Saddle Barn, Inc. at 1102 N. Garden Ave. The Edgewood project, a large-diameter waterline project, is planned to be completed this summer along North Garden Avenue and Third Street. (Alison Penn Photo)

Roswell’s Infrastructure Committee discussed financial changes to an asbestos waterline replacement project, approved three project awards and city of Roswell staff presented updates on large-diameter valve waterline projects.

In a less than a 20-minute meeting on Monday, city councilors Juan Oropesa, committee chairman; George Peterson, Jeanine Corn Best and Caleb Grant approved the following awards to various contractors: a Roswell International Air Center (RIAC) general aviation ramp repair, a sewer manhole rehabilitation project and an asbestos waterline replacement.

Representatives from the city’s engineering department were present to answer questions about project updates. Kevin Dillon, project and facilities director, and James Thomas, engineering assistant, addressed several of the projects and answered committee members’ questions.

Asbestos line 

At Infrastructure’s February meeting, council voted to award the replacement of 4 miles of asbestos waterline on East Second Street/Highway 380 from Atkinson Avenue to the Roswell Test Facility to General Hydronics Utilities LLC, based in Alamogordo, in the monetary amount of $1,603,382.76, including gross receipts tax, after receiving five bids.

In August, the council unanimously approved for Bohannan Huston Inc. (BHI), an Albuquerque-based company, to design the replacement project of 4.2 miles of asbestos line.

Oropesa reminded the committee that the city’s estimate for the project was at $3 million and bids came in “very, very low.” To his understanding, Grant said he remembered the approximate cost of $3 million included disposal “of every inch” of the asbestos or transite line — and later the city was informed they could leave the line where it was. Dillon clarified that the New Mexico Environment Department clarified that the asbestos line could be left in the ground.

Grant asked if the city heard from the federal government about potential funding since the waterline also feeds Bottomless Lakes State Park. Replying to Grant, City Manager Joe Neeb said Mayor Dennis Kintigh has reached out, but there has not been a response. Mayor Kintigh confirmed with the Daily Record that he has not heard anything yet.

Since $3 million is already budgeted, Best asked if the city will keep the funds allocated until the project is completed. She also asked if remaining funds would go the city’s General Fund after completion and Dillon said that is what the city has planned.

Edgewood project  

The committee also discussed the Edgewood project, which was postponed last May to move the previously mentioned asbestos waterline. The Edgewood project, named after the closed Edgewood Elementary School, consists of replacing four large-diameter valves at the intersection of East Third Street and North Garden Avenue and is funded at this time. White Cloud Pipeline was awarded the contract by the committee with a vote of 3-0 at the February meeting and it was discussed that the work may close North Garden Avenue for about a month once the project begins and is contingent on when parts come in.

The meeting’s agenda stated the large-diameter project is slated to start after May 28. In addition, the city will install small-diameter valves that will connect to new construction of the 8-inch line and will be done before the contractor’s start date.

Other projects

For the RIAC ramp, Scott Stark, RIAC director, said some sections of the general aviation ramp will be repaired through a purchasing cooperative and will cost $129,982 with combined funding from the air center budget and half being paid for by an aviation grant.

Thomas said the $247,908.76 sewer rehabilitation project is an annual maintenance project and 64 manholes will be spray washed, along with getting a new cement coating and then an epoxy coating. Grant said this may have been the first time this project had two bidders. Corrosion Resistant Coatings was awarded the work for this project.

Oropesa inquired about a recent water main break at Hobbs and South Main streets and Dillon said the installation of emergency line stops was underway.

Peterson asked about roofing repairs on Dean Baldwin Painting at 82 W. Earl Cummings Loop — to which Dillon replied that the project was almost done and the fire suppression system is anticipated to be done in November.

The meeting’s agenda stated the large-diameter project is slated to start after May 28.

For May’s infrastructure committee, it has been rescheduled to May 20 due to Memorial Day being on May 27, the normally scheduled fourth Monday of the month.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.