Excavating crews from Wanasek Corp. work at the Maryland Avenue reconstruction site in Burlington earlier this past summer. The cost of the project continues to escalate due mainly to the impact of former landfill waste that has to be removed from the site. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Council OKs first of cost overruns at recent meeting

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Burlington Common Council on Tuesday officially approved an increase in expenses related to the Maryland Avenue reconstruction project.

And there are more to come, the city’s public’s works director said.

The project, which began shortly after Memorial Day, encountered unexpected issues stemming from a former landfill site and required an additional $57,934 in funds for Wanasek Corporation to deal with contaminated soils and minor utility adjustments.

Peter Riggs, director of public works, previously told the Common Council the additional expenses would raise the cost from $1,846,260 to $1,904,194.

“There is uncertainty with all large construction projects, which often requires deviation from the designed project scope,” Riggs said previously.

Riggs, meanwhile, said the Common Council will likely see another change order of at least $250,000 regarding disposal of landfill waste from the construction site.

“The contract has a $50,000 allowance for contaminated soils which will help offset future expected costs associated with landfilling activities,” Riggs wrote in a memorandum.

The work order authorized on Tuesday does not include additional project costs, such as landfilling fees of $69,300 and a state Department of Natural Resources review of $1,650.

Wanasek Corporation, approved by the Common Council as the construction manager, began work on Maryland Avenue project in early June.

During excavation, however, construction crews uncovered more waste than expected from the former landfill site and needed to haul some of it to Metro Landfill in Franklin.

The former landfill site, according to Riggs, unearthed waste dating back decades and primarily consisted of organic matter.

“Instead of continuing to pay high costs for hauling and disposal, we sought permission to open the licensed portion of the City of Burlington landfill that is adjacent to Maryland Avenue and dispose of the material there,” Riggs said this summer.

Initially, if the city continued to haul waste to another disposal site, Burlington would have been responsible for costs between $500,000 to $750,000.

To read the full version of this story see the Sept. 23 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.