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RMWD approves change order for Live Oak Park bridge brackets and pipe supports

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Rainbow Municipal Water District and Hazard Construction reached an agreement on compensation for change orders on the project to relocate the Rainbow water mains along the Live Oak Park bridge, and the Rainbow board approved a change order compensation agreement Dec. 5.

The 5-0 vote approves a change order with Hazard Construction for $232,500. The change order agreement also modifies the work completion date. The work was to have been completed Sept. 8 prior to delays caused by the County of San Diego and now has a completion date of Feb. 6, 2024.

“That one had major engineering problems,” said Rainbow board president Hayden Hamilton.

Live Oak Park Bridge is on Live Oak Park Road and crosses the San Luis Rey tributary 160 feet south of Gum Tree Lane. The bridge was constructed in the 1950s by placing three corrugated metal arched culverts side by side in the streambed and connecting them together with Portland cement concrete headwall and endwall composition.

Past inspections of Live Oak Park Bridge revealed a vertical deflection of 1 1/2 feet. Water leaking from one culvert to another was also observed. The deficiencies found included distorted and corroded pipes, bent and crushed pipe sections, pipe deflection, and pipe section loss.

Bridge flooding concerns were also noted, as reviews of the bridge determined that the existing metal culverts would not be able to accommodate a 100-year flood event, and the driver's sight distance was deemed to be inadequate.

The existing 25 foot long triple arch culvert bridge is being replaced by a concrete slab bridge approximately 58 feet in length with the ability to handle large storms. The project will also improve the alignment and sight distance for that portion of Live Oak Park Road. The road elevation will be raised between three and four feet and the existing corrugated metal pipe culverts underneath the roadway will be removed.

The work created utility conflicts with San Diego Gas & Electric power lines, AT&T telephone lines, and Rainbow Municipal Water District water pipes. The elevations and alignments of Rainbow’s eight‑inch and 16-inch water mains needed to be modified. The county has prior rights along Live Oak Park Road, which means that Rainbow was responsible for the water main relocation. The county’s Department of Public Works agreed to construct pipe supports along the sides of the new bridge so that Rainbow could attach the water mains.

In December 2021, the county awarded the Live Oak Park Road Bridge replacement contract to Hazard Construction. Rainbow requested a change order for Hazard to perform the water main relocation in conjunction with the project and the district reimbursing the county for the work, but the county declined that request due to change order limits in the state Public Contract Code. The county did, however, express willingness for Rainbow to have Hazard perform the water main relocation under a district-initiated contract.

The county issued Hazard a Notice to Proceed in March 2022. That month, Rainbow met with Hazard Construction, which is based in Lakeside, to discuss plans and specifications and requested a bid for the water main relocations. Rainbow’s legal staff determined that competitively bidding the water main portion would not provide any advantage and could create conflicts between contractors if the work was not closely coordinated.

In April 2022, Rainbow’s board approved an agreement with Hazard to add the water main relocation to the bridge replacement work. Rainbow’s original contract with Hazard Construction was for $507,700. An October 2022 change order to provide additional pipe fittings for the two water mains added $32,331.25 to the contract.

The brackets and pipe supports were in the original county contract design and bid package so Rainbow omitted the brackets and pipe supports from its own bid package. After the project was bid and awarded, Rainbow learned that the county contract did not include the brackets and pipe supports.

The first change order was within the general manager’s authority to approve without Rainbow board action, but the second change order to add the brackets and pipe supports exceeded the cumulative amount which can be awarded administratively, so in December 2022 the Rainbow board authorized a $36,653.55 change order.

The 16-inch waterline was completed on July 3. Hazard Construction could not construct the eight-inch waterline until the County of San Diego authorized that phase. Rainbow and Hazard agreed to a mutual suspension of the eight-inch waterline work with Hazard not receiving additional compensation due to the work delay and the remaining 47 days of the contract time being postponed until the county allowed the work.

Between July 2023 and October 2023, Hazard Construction submitted change order requests related to unforeseen site conditions including flanged pipe connections, utility conflicts, additional shoring expenses, and a high water table which required dewatering. The change order requests also included production loss, and the total amount of the requests was $406,071.38.

Rainbow general manager Jake Wiley began negotiations with Hazard Construction on the claims. Hazard agreed to withdraw the $175,980 request for home and field office overhead and also agreed to reduce the claim amount related to project delays and dewatering by $26,215.

Rainbow agreed to pay the claim for time-related impacts for flanged connections and the storage of articulated concrete blocks and the claim for mitigation of the high water table. The most recent change order brings the total contract amount to $809,194.80.


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