Long-awaited improvements to the stormwater system and streets in the Melody Lane subdivision have been completed, approximately eight years after plans for the project began.
Although the improvements took longer than initially expected, construction costs were $ 103,877.67 under budget, city officials reported.
The subdivision, which sits off I-55 Outer Road, has long been plagued by flash floods, and upgrades were designed to eliminate these issues and repair roads that continued to deteriorate as they went. as the project grew over the years.
Last year, Arnold officials agreed to spend $ 1,835,220 to cover construction costs, but ultimately only paid $ 1,731,342.33 for construction, which began in December 2020 and s ‘was completed on August 31, according to city documents.
In total, upgrades to the Melody, Tempo, Harmony and Rhythm tracks cost $ 2,701,631.33, according to city records.
“It’s hard to think of another project with this kind of saga,” said city administrator Bryan Richison of the project which covered three public works managers and was at one point dormant due to changes to the engineering company that designed the project.
Gershenson Construction Co. in Eureka completed construction, and Hurst-Roche Engineers Inc. in Arnold designed the project, which involved purchasing five houses in the subdivision to make way for a water retention pond to capture and divert rainwater. The project also required the installation of a storm water drainage system, the repair of streets and the installation of new curbs throughout the neighborhood.
More than 30 adjustments were made throughout the project, decreasing or increasing the amount of materials needed and another change to remove a tree that started to fall during the construction phase, according to city documents.
âGershenson Construction is a quality contractor and has worked well with the residents, and their ability to come and work hand in hand with our utility companies has also been a feat,â said Judy Wagner, Director of Public Works, who inherited the project from directors Ed Blattner, who left town in May 2018, and Bryson Baker, who left town in January 2013.
Richison said Wagner deserves a lot of the credit for bringing the project more than $ 103,000 under budget.
âShe did a great job,â Richison said of Wagner, who was hired by the city in October 2019 after retiring from the Missouri Department of Transportation, where she had worked since 1991. âWith her expertise and being on the job a lot, sometimes she saw the need to make changes, without her I think these things wouldn’t have been done, and it was a better project because of her.
Richison said he had great sympathy for the residents of the subdivision who have waited so long for the improvements.
âWe found ourselves in a situation where their streets needed repair work, but we knew we were going to tear up their streets to put the storm water pipes there. We didn’t want to spend money on repairs that we would tear up, âhe said. âWe kept thinking we were close, but it just dragged on. They went for a long time in streets which needed work but did not receive any.
âThen during construction it was extremely disturbing. We tore up the streets making them impassable. They had to be hijacked. Sometimes they could not get a garbage service and had to take their garbage in a dumpster. It was a major inconvenience for them in addition to spending years with deteriorating streets. “
In addition to construction costs, Arnold also spent $ 155,289 on Hurst-Roche Engineers to design the project and an additional $ 173,000 on the company to provide construction engineering services.
The city also spent $ 642,000 to purchase the housing needed to build the retention pond.
The city received a state grant of $ 250,000 to help pay for stormwater improvements. He also used $ 1 million of his share of Jefferson County’s 1/2-cent sales tax for road and bridge projects to help fund the entire project.
The city covered the remainder of the costs with some of the roughly $ 9.2 million it received from the sale of its sewage system to Missouri American Water in 2015.