City allocates additional funds for sewage infrastructure

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The city council voted Monday to approve the allocation of additional funds for two projects and the development of a new project, all of which are focused on the city’s sewage infrastructure.

The first allocation is the largest overall, but will be spread out over the next three years as part of the city’s contract with five on-call sewer providers.

These providers and the city came to a five-year agreement in June 2017 which originally amounted to a total of $600,000. In exchange, these contractors provide 24-hour, on-call emergency response for sewer repair services to assist the City’s Public Works Maintenance staff in the event of line blockages, damaged pipes or other sewer issues.

Due to a higher than anticipated volume of service required over the first two and a half years of the contract, city staff is recommending that the amount in the contract be increased by $250,000 to cover for the remaining period.

The second allocation holds a similar cost to the city, but will not be allocated from the general fund. It pertains to a professional services agreement made in March 2019 with construction company NV5 for the oversight of the construction of Diversion Sewer Pipes to abandon the Mesmer and Overland Sewer Pump Stations (Project No. PZ-946).

The completion of this project will allow the sewer flow from Mesmer Station and Overland Station be diverted to the newly completed Bankfield Station. The Mesmer Station is proposed to be repurposed to a low flow diversion project, which would capture dry weather run-off from Centinela Creek into Mesmer Station. The run-off would then be pumped into an existing sewer main, and head to the City of Los Angeles’ Hyperion Treatment Plant for treatment.

The original agreement was for an amount not-to-exceed $419,865 (plus $42,000 contingency amount). However, delays caused by permitting agencies have extended the project’s timeline to the point where more money was needed to keep NV5 on the project.

“Much of the project delays were beyond the control of the City or the Contractor, resulting from delays in securing staging areas in a residential neighborhood that would be compatible with night time work as required by the City of Los Angeles permit condition and soils storage, along with reacquiring the expired Caltrans permits for the work within the Caltrans right-of-way,” the staff report on the allocation stated.

The additional allocation of $235,548 is meant to cover the period from Nov. 2020 to May 2021. However, the final fee will be based on the actual time that NV5 spends based on the actual timeline of the project. 

Finally, a smaller allocation will be made in order to supplement the Culver Boulevard Stormwater project for an additional amount of $50,485, with an additional contingency in the amount of $5,050 was approved.

The Culver Boulevard Realignment and Urban Stormwater Project was approved in Sept. 2019 as a major and controversial overhaul of Culver Boulevard between Elenda Street and Sepulveda Boulevard that 

Similar to the allocation for the Overland and Mesmer project, this money isn’t going to the company undertaking the construction, but the one providing construction support. This company — Tetra Tech, Inc. — originally came to an agreement with the city for an amount not-to-exceed $129,014 ($117,285 base amount and $11,728 (10%) contingency for unexpected costs).

This amount is one of the smallest in the project, paling in comparison to the $18,323,351 for the actual construction and $1,248,951 for construction management and inspection. According to the staff report, Tetra Tech’s responsibilities included, but were not limited to the following:  submittal and shop drawing review, assistance with contractor requests for information, meetings and coordination; site inspections, structural observation, final walkthrough and inspections, and preparation of as-built drawings.

However, the city has concluded that their duties should be expanded to include the following: necessary attendance at weekly construction status meetings, review of contractor requests for information, extensive review of contractor shop drawings, and review of various submittals including pump station, electrical and instrumentation and miscellaneous submittals.

To that end, the additional $55,535 was recommended by staff to allocate to the Tetra Tech agreement. These funds would not be taken out of the General Fund, as a separate account specifically set up for the project has the funds to cover the cost, according to the staff report.

City allocates additional funds for sewage infrastructure