Culvert costs/overruns

Currently, as you may or may not be aware Beaver Loop is closed due to a culvert replacement being done by the Kenai Watershed Forum (KWF). This is a fairly large project, not unlike replacement of the culvert under Kenai Spur Highway (KSH). I recall that work being done and the extent of the construction efforts. I do not recall however, how long that project took. I also do not know whether the contractor doing Beaver Loop is the same as the earlier project on KSH.

I did not realized until I read it online the Beaver Loop project is a KWF project. I inaccurately assumed since the State of Alaska is making plans to upgrade Beaver Loop, the state was doing this work; actually I thought this project had to do with water main piping, not just a culvert.

All that being said I read yesterday in a couple of places online that this Beaver Loop project would be done “soon” (Robert Ruffner); or “a few weeks” (Rick Cook); or as learned today, they are not sure when!! The foreman did tell me they have removed the expected completion dates from the reader signs.

The original time frame was 5/21 – 6/11. Now there is no completion date. Now the first thing that comes to my mind is not fishing traffic (Rick Cook), but the cost overruns for all the additional time, particularly the labor. So I ask the foreman about this!

He explained there would be no cost over runs; he would have to eat it himself. I replied, “What you have no contract with the government?” He said his contract for a set amount with KWF.

Now the structural and logistical explanations given in the online interviews for the delay did not reassure me regarding an expected completion date; the expected completion date only concerns because there will be the expectation to recoup those overrun costs.

From where will KWF expect to recoup those funds? The city – because the city water main is included in the project and Cook has oversight, “addressing pubic concerns” input. The state- because the road is currently the responsibility of the state, and they have limited funds for the upcoming upgrade. The borough or federal government – because most of KFW funds are grants from government agencies; or because KWF and KPB are funding buddies?

I think this is a legitimate question!

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