Several Concerned Readers have made inquiries lately on the subject of work being done, or more specifically on work not being done, on the Bull Creek Bridge on Forrest Road.
"I was wondering, they seemed to be working real hard on the Forrest Road Bridge before the election, but after, there is no equipment or workers at the site," Concerned Reader John wrote. "Maybe if we had continuous elections all these stalled projects would get done or move to Moon Road where they're seem to be plenty of work going on."
I doubt the bridge work had much if anything to do with the mayor or incumbent councilors winning re-election handily, and probably even less to do with school board member John Wells being handed his hat and raincoat, among other things. But the half-closed bridge is obviously a work site and there is obviously no work going on there, and there doesn't seem to have been any for a month or two.
Deputy City Manager David Arrington explained that during the early part of the project, a utility conflict was uncovered that required a redesign of the project, which caused readers to contact me.
"When work comes to a stop, it's noticeable to the public," Arrington said. "On larger projects, the contractor can just move to another portion of the project until something like this is resolved. But since this all deals with this one location, the contractor couldn't move forward until he got the new plans."
The good news is that the Water Works has approved the plans and the city is now getting a price on carrying through with the new approach. Those familiar with construction know that major midstream changes in plans usually drive the cost up, but Arrington said that might not be the case this time.
"Actually, the redesign eliminated a lot of work that would have had to be done," Arrington said. "So from a cost standpoint -- and I can't say this factually because we don't have the final pricing -- but it could be cost neutral."
Arrington didn't have the file on the project at hand late Friday afternoon, so he couldn't give me the cost of the project. But I located a Request For Bid document for this project on the city's website, and it indicated a price tag of around $3.5 million assuming I located the right document.
So, Forrest Road Readers, expect to see workers and heavy equipment back on the site soon.
Cognizant Readers will recall a couple of weeks ago when Chuck "B-Team" Williams filled in for me in this column while I was on vacation. He ended it by saying he would be so glad for me to return and take this back over and that he was going to buy me a beer.