ANNA MARIA – Anna Maria commissioners denied i+iconSoutheast’s request to extend by nine days the completion date for the construction of the new Anna Maria City Pier walkway and T-end platform.
During the Thursday, March 21 emergency meeting, the commission also denied the company’s request to add $9,146 and two additional work days to the completion date. The request was submitted due to delays the barge encountered when trying to pick up more concrete pilings.
The commission did approve a change request order for an additional $12,078 and one extra work day. The approved change order offsets the extra expenses and the lost work day incurred when previously undiscovered remnants of some old pier pilings obstructed new pilings from being driven at six locations. This pushes the completion date back one day, to Aug. 27.
“I believe we’re legally obligated to approve this change order,” City Attorney Becky Vose told the commission.
The initial construction phase does not include the restaurant, bait shop and public restrooms to be built upon the T-end platform. Those buildings will be part of a second construction project Mayor Dan Murphy said would soon be put out for bid.
Each change order presented included a collective recommendation from Murphy, Vose and Jax Saxena. Saxena is the vice president of the Ayres Associates engineering firm that designed the new pier. The city’s contract with i+iconSoutheast allows the contractor to submit change order requests if something unusual or unexpected occurs. Murphy said these requests generally pertain to time, money or both.
“Through March 16, i+icon has been unable to work on the pier for a total of nine days due to inclement weather,” said the change order request submitted by project director Paul Johnson.
“Bad weather days should have been taken into account,” Murphy told the commission. “We haven’t had any unusual weather. We have had days where it was unsafe to work, but that is something that should have been taken into account. They know the weather on Tampa Bay just as well as us and they know when the chop gets up it is in fact unsafe.”
Murphy said some of the lost days could already have been made up by working on Saturdays when the weather was perfect.
Vose said the contract addresses specific delays attributed to unanticipated causes that include severe and unavoidable natural catastrophes and abnormal weather conditions.
“A windy day and a rainy day on the west coast of Florida is nothing abnormal,” she said.
Commissioner Amy Tripp said the construction company still has several Saturdays to make up the lost work days.
The change order summary memo prepared by Saxena stated three truckloads of concrete pilings could not be delivered to the barge pickup point on Feb. 28 due to heavy rains that flooded the property where the pilings were stored. The truck delivery was delayed until March 1, which delayed the barge delivery from Tampa to Anna Maria until March 3.
“This delay was outside i+icon’s control,” Johnson’s change order request stated.
Saxena’s memo suggested the contractor could have anticipated these delays. Murphy said the truck delivery could have been confirmed before the barge departed.
Murphy also provided the commission with a list of additional cost-saving opportunities available to the city through the direct purchase of construction materials.
The savings are available because the city is exempt from the sales taxes the contractor would pay. The city previously obtained similar savings by directly purchasing the pier pilings. Future purchases of this nature do not require additional commission approval.
The additional tax-free savings include $8,438 for the Ipe wood decking, $3,161 for the wooden support timbers, $5,947 for the concrete deck panels and $13,925 for the concrete piling caps, for a total savings of $31,471.
The commission unanimously supported Murphy’s suggestion that an additional $7,500 could be saved by not staining the Ipe pier decking. Murphy said the manufacturer and the contractor recommend not staining it.
Seymour said not staining the decking would allow it to fade to a natural gray that resembles the old pier. Copeland, a woodworker by trade, said if the pier is stained now, it will need to be stained again every two years to maintain the desired appearance.
Public Works Manager Dean Jones said not staining the pier would spare his department the labor-intensive efforts associated with re-staining an 800-foot pier every couple of years. Carter said re-staining the pier would also require the pier to be closed while that work took place.