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FPUD approves change order for Minnesota Ave. pipeline replacement

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Fallbrook Public Utility District board approved the final costs for an emergency pipeline replacement.

A 5-0 vote Aug. 22 approved a $256,146.05 change order to FPUD’s contract with SRK Engineering which had been awarded to install the Minnesota Avenue pipeline replacement.

“This was the last phase of an emergency repair to prevent any unplanned outages from the pipeline failure by replacing water lines that were found to be in poor condition," said FPUD general manager Jack Bebee.

The state’s Public Contract Code authorizes special contracting procedures in an emergency situation. A public agency’s general manager is allowed to take immediate action to procure the necessary equipment, services, and supplies, and the emergency action also eliminates the requirement to give notice for bids as well as the requirement for board approval. The general manager must report to the board with an update at each regularly scheduled meeting to determine that there is a need to continue the action.

Multiple leaks in damaged pipeline segments disrupted essential service to customers on sections of Ivy Street, Minnesota Avenue, and Alvarado Street. In March 2021 the FPUD board awarded SRK Engineering, which is headquartered in Escondido, a contract to replace the Gum Tree Pipeline and since SRK was already in Fallbrook for that work, Bebee and SRK reached an agreement for SRK to replace sections of the Minnesota Avenue pipeline.

The pipeline failures required temporary measures to maintain service, including abandonment of looped sections of pipe and high-lined services. The FPUD board approved continuing the emergency action at the April 25, May 23, and June 27 meetings.

Had it not been for the emergency action, the regular design, bid, and construction phases would have required the temporary measures for between 10 and 15 months. Because SRK was already mobilized in Fallbrook, the work was completed in just over three months. Because the replacement was completed prior to July 25, the FPUD board did not need to approve continuing the emergency action at the board’s July meeting which also meant that no cost approval updates took place that month.

SRK replaced 1,270 linear feet of water main. Because the board was approving costs by phases, the total approved amount through June was $487,683.48. The cost for the final section which was replaced in July was $256,146.05.


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