The staff of Tampa Bay Water, Clearwater, Fla., is recommending awarding a $162.4-million contract to Kiewit Infrastructure Group, Omaha, Neb., to repair and expand the utility’s six-year-old, 15.5-billion-gallon, cracking reservoir.

Image courtesy Tampa Bay Water
Under its proposal, Kiewit will remove and reclaim the reservoirs existing flat-plate soil cement and soil wedge, remove and replace the geomembrane layer, and add embankment fill, a drainage system and stair-step soil cement around the entire interior face.

Kiewit estimates repairs at roughly $121 million. Under the firm’s proposal, the contractor would remove and reclaim the reservoir’s existing flat-plate soil cement and soil wedge, remove and replace the geomembrane layer, and add embankment fill, a drainage system and stair-step soil cement around the entire interior face.

The contractor’s proposal also calls for expanding the existing facility by an additional 3 billion gallons, at an estimated cost of nearly $42 million.

In late 2006, just a year after the $140-million facility first opened, Tampa Bay Water discovered cracking along roughly 40% of the reservoir’s interior lining. The utility hired Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan., to investigate; the firm found that the cracking was the result of water becoming trapped in the soil wedge.

Tampa Bay Water sued the reservoir’s original design and construction team, which included HDR, Omaha; Barnard Construction Co., Bozeman, Mont.; and Construction Dynamics Group, Columbia, Md., which is now ARCADIS.

According to Michelle Biddle Rapp, spokesperson for the utility, litigation against HDR is ongoing, with a trial expected to begin in July in federal court.

The board of Tampa Bay Water settled with CDG in October 2010 for $6 million. In February, the board approved a settlement agreement with Barnard Construction that calls for the contractor and its subcontractor, McDonald Construction Corp., to pay Tampa Bay Water $750,000 before trial. Barnard remains liable for up to $5 million, depending on the outcome of the trial, Rapp says.

Kiewit’s proposal was selected ahead of competing bids by Granite Construction Co. and Skanska USA Civil Southeast. The recommended reservoir fix is scheduled to be discussed at the board’s June 20 meeting.

Tampa Bay Water anticipates construction could start by September 2012, and last 24 to 30 months.


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