Friday, January 15, 1999
Banta-Davis project on target despite blasting
Even though the Banta-Davis playing field construction closed out 1998 with a bang, the project is still within the amount approved by last spring's Town Meeting and is expected to be completed by the June 1 contract deadline.
Clerk of the Works Bob Hall of Nowell Farme Road reported to the recreation commission on January 11 that all blasting was complete. Rock ledge was removed from the softball field, parking lot and irrigation pond. Over 200 one-and-a-half inch diameter holes six to eight feet deep were drilled and more than 2,000 pounds of high explosives were used. The resulting 50 truckloads of rock debris were buried four to eight feet deep in the baseball outfield and covered with gravel to the sub-base elevation.
The cost of the blasting was $21,000. Hall indicated that, as is customary, the construction contract did not allocate funds for blasting but merely specified a cost per cubic yard for removal of ledge, if encountered. RecCom director Carol Peters said that they knew there was some ledge in the area but did not know how much until an expert examined the site in December. "It worried us," said Peters of the expert's opinion, because the estimated cost greatly exceeded the contingency allowance in the contract.
Therefore, RecCom worked out a compromise with the contractor. With the approval of the project engineer and the conservation commission, approximately 1,000 feet of subdrain in the upper fields was eliminated at a savings of $8,000. In Hall's opinion, if drainage is determined to be necessary in this area it can be installed with little disruption to activities and at no greatly increased cost. Having power lines go over Bedford Road rather than being buried also saved $3,000.
The balance of $10,000 was covered by a change order, bringing the total contract price to $572,300, compared to the approved Warrant article amount of $577,000. With the project approximately 65 percent complete, Hall does not expect to come back to the town for more money. The only remaining item which may possibly run over budget is the well, which is scheduled to be drilled and tested next week.
Construction on the project has ended for the winter and will start again when the ground thaws and dries sufficiently to allow passage of heavy equipment. Although Hall expects seeding to be complete this spring, the fields will not be ready for play until the spring and fall of 2000.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito