Marquette Park projects continue to require changes
By Michael Gonzalez Post-Tribune correspondent August 8, 2012 4:10PM
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:40PM
GARY — The Marquette Park Lakefront East project racked up more change orders Wednesday, with the approval of the Board of Public Works and Safety, but a city official said the numerous change orders help avert costlier contract extensions later.
The $28 million park rehab, funded by a grant from the Regional Development Authority, is expected to be completed by November, said city planning director Dwayne Williams.
Earlier in Wednesday’s meeting, the board approved an $875,000 payment to the RDA, a fourth of its annual $3.5 million contribution.
While the project’s planners built in a sizable contingency for overruns, the multiple change orders have added up significantly for several contractors.
The board approved a $4,954 credit and a $117,804 bump up in cost from Great Lakes Electric Maintenance for a net increase of $112,850. Along with previous change orders for GLEM, the Gary-based company’s original contract for one phase of the project jumped from $808,240 to $995,723 in payments so far.
Powers and Sons, another local company, received the board’s approval for a $31,000 credit and $21,838 for a net savings of $9,162, but, with all change orders combined, Powers and Sons is bringing in $2,878,143, significantly more than the originally contracted $2,379,000 for the most recent phase of work.
Gariup Construction, also of Gary, has been another big winner in the Marquette Park project’s latest phase. Gariup submitted change orders Wednesday for an extra $31,668 on one contract and a $408 credit and a $9,874 charge for a net gain of $9,466 on a second contract.
The value of the two contracts originally was $3,654,000, but with change orders, Gariup will be paid $4,445,425 for them.
Finally, Mechanical Concepts’ change order Wednesday for $91,143, including a $3,179 credit, boosted the company’s contract from an original $939,000 to $1,304,074 in payments.
The number of change orders and mounting costs seem daunting, but they actually may be better for the project than issuing contract extensions down the line, Williams said.
He insisted the change orders are signals the contractors are discovering work that needs to be done, including unexpected remedial work on structures and other aspects, and addressing them immediately. It is a timing issue to the extent taking care of problems now saves time — and money — and gets the work done by November, said Williams.