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Council discusses liquidated damages from Eighth Avenue reconstruction work

The Worthington City Council, during a special meeting last week, discussed a request for either the reduction or forgiving of liquidated damages that arose from the recent Eighth Avenue reconstruction project.

According to documentation included in council members' agenda packet, the full reconstruction of Eighth Avenue, covering the whole right-of-way width of 60 feet by 70 feet, was awarded to Larson Crane Service Inc. on May 9, 2022. The contract was awarded for $1,267,405.95, with a substantial completion date of Sept. 30, 2022. 

Larson Crane Service initiated construction on June 13, 2022, with the concrete pavement for the street poured on Nov. 7 of that year and the street opened to traffic on Nov. 14. Operations were stopped Nov. 14, 2022, due to the cold weather conditions, leaving the driveway, sidewalks, and turf establishment incomplete. Gravel driveways were established temporarily to provide access to residents during the winter. 

Larson Crane Service resumed operations on April 17, 2023. Sidewalks and driveways were poured on May 17, and pedestrians were given access May 22. Larson Crane completed seeding on June 9. 

The contract included liquidated damages of $1,200 per calendar day. The final pay application, which includes 40 days' worth of liquidated damages totaling $48,000, was forwarded to the contractor on Aug. 29, 2023. The contractor has not returned the pay application, and so the final disbursement has not been made. The 40-day liquidated damages do not account for the work completed in spring of 2023. The delay in completion resulted in an extra cost of approximately $131,000 to the city.

The liquidated damages are intended to cover the additional costs incurred by the department in overseeing the project (or in this case, a consultant overseeing the project), and, more importantly, to compensate for the substantial inconvenience experienced by the residents and general public. LCS claims that the delay in operations was a result of the postponed delivery date for storm water structures. Construction daily records written by Bolton and Menk, Inc. do not mention any operation pauses due to the storm structure missing. LCS is requesting council reduce or forgive the liquidated damages.

After discussion by council, it was agreed the city should continue pursuing payment of the liquidated damages.


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