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FPUD approves change order for Gum Tree Pipeline replacement

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Fallbrook Public Utility District contract with SRK Engineering to replace FPUD's Gum Tree Pipeline required a change order, but the April 25 FPUD board meeting authorized that change order.

The board’s 5-0 vote approved an additional $13,355.42 for asbestos removal and disposal and an additional $5,591.77 for erosion control. A previous $39,982.04 change order for pipeline alignment changes had been approved administratively and was ratified as part of the April 25 board action.

FPUD's pipeline and valve replacement program includes a priority list of replacement projects. The criteria includes the facility age and a history of failures. The age and recent multiple leaks made the Gum Tree Pipeline a priority. Drainage crossing vulnerability was another factor in the Gum Tree Pipeline being selected for replacement, as some sections were above grade, and its connection to Red Mountain makes it a pipeline which provides service to a majority of FPUD’s customers.

The work will replace approximately 1,600 feet of 20-inch diameter cement mortar lined and coated steel pipe along with associated appurtenances. FPUD staff prepared a design package and solicited bids. SRK, which is based in Escondido, submitted the low bid of $428,500, and during the March 2021 board meeting a 5-0 vote awarded SRK a contract for that amount.

Unforeseen circumstances were encountered during construction. “Early on in the project there were some pretty significant alignment changes,” said FPUD senior engineer Aaron Cook.

Additional fittings and thrust blocks were needed to navigate the crossing of a steep gully. The value of those changes allowed administrative authorization.

The two new change orders increased the cumulative amount, and they also brought the cost of the project above budget. FPUD had budgeted $480,000, which included contingency, and the $57,360.21 for the three change orders combined increased the total cost to $485,860.21. Because other capital projects have been completed under budget (including contingency) no additional capital appropriation was required.

During recent construction some sections of the abandoned pipeline were found to contain asbestos on the coating, so additional effort for hazardous waste removal was needed. The recent rainfall indicated that additional erosion control was needed on the steep graded sections of the alignment.


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