Ormond mess due to worsen

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / April 26, 2000

HAHNVILLE – The Ormond Boulevard mess is about to get messier, as the contractor for the road-raising project is expected to have another entrance to the Cypress Village shopping center closed today.

St. Charles Parish Public Works Director Steven Fall told the parish council’sOperations, Maintenance and Construction Management Committee Monday the unwelcome news and added as construction shifts to the now-open lanes for rebuilding, the mess will only continue.

In the meantime, all entrances to the shopping center on Airline Highway will remain open.

The contract is due to be completed in November.

The project, which involves raising the roadbed 18 inches with 853 tons of gravel and relocating several buried utility lines, began as a $528,505 project, with a $64,145 change order already added on. Hebert BrothersContractors is performing the work.

Fall said first the present road will be raised with gravel and traffic re- routed onto it to compact the gravel for at least 30 days prior to re-paving.

As that is going on the presently-open lanes will be closed for installation of box culverts for drainage of that side and raising of those lanes as well.

While the road project is going on, one driveway into the shopping center’s rear corner has been open. That is due to be closed by this morning, aspipeline installation makes necessary the ripping up of that driveway.

Fall hoped to re-open the shopping center driveway from Ormond to the Eckerd vicinity using a makeshift ramp, but consultant Greg Bush said that most likely wouldn’t happen.

In other matters before the council committee, Charles Bartlett of Bartlett Construction Inc. approached council members in an attempt to be paid forwork performed and completed for the parish.

Bartlett said he is owed approximately $55,500 for two jobs – the Cousins Canal pump station completed 11 months ago and the sewer skips program.

The contractor said he was making this effort to avoid filing suit.

On the Cousins Canal pump station, Bartlett insisted he completed the project and the parish’s engineer had recommended final payment within 30 days.

However, then-public works director Richard Wright held up the $24,000 payment, insisting on charging Bartlett instead for liquidated damages for finishing the job late. Bartlett said the lateness was not his fault, butEntergy’s for holding him up several months over electrical line work, and the engineer’s recommendation agreed.

On the sewer skips program Bartlett said he was charged late fees despite the parish not having obtained necessary servitudes in time for him to perform the work. This put Bartlett in arrears to the tune of $31,500.”I don’t think it’s fair,” he said.

The matter remained unresolved after discussion.

The committee also heard an update on wastewater and public works projects from Fall, who reported there are $5,050,000 in public works projects in progress and $11 million in wastewater projects under way at present.

The Destrehan and Hahnville regional wastewater treatment plants are nearing completion, and both should commence final testing in a matter of days. Both should be up and online this summer, Fall said.”At Destrehan, the plan is to start testing in 10 days, and it should be discharging by the end of May, with the same thing at Hahnville,” Fall commented.

Councilman Terry Authement expressed his concern that with anticipated population growth in Luling and between Paradis and Bayou Gauche the sewer lines being installed will not be sufficient to keep up with that growth.

“Will we need to come back to the voters in five or 10 years for a new sewer line to keep up?” Authement asked, his concern echoed by Parish President Albert Laque.

Program manager Rob Martin responded that is possible. However,Councilman G. “Ram” Ramchandran disagreed and said it would take a totalpopulation of 75,000 in the area to over-burden the plant.

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