The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 23, 2013

Enid City Commission to consider emergency water line replacement contract

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Enid city commissioners will meet in a special session tonight to consider awarding a contract for $2.25 million worth of emergency water line replacement.

Commissioners voted Jan. 15 to declare an emergency and waive competitive bidding requirements to replace 2.5 miles of 20-inch water line.

The water line, which stretches from 54th and U.S. 412 to the Koch Nitrogen plant on 78th, carries about 50 percent of the city’s water demand, and supplies Koch Nitrogen, Salt Fork Water District and the towns of Covington and Fairmont.

Robert Hitt, city of Enid director of engineering services, presented the commissioners last week with several options to replace the water line.

He presented options based on replacing the existing 20-inch line with a 24-inch line along three routes: follow U.S. 412 east to 78th, then south; south along Kremlin Street to Market, then east to 78th; and to parallel the existing route, which follows the railroad right-of-way to the southeast from 54th and U.S. 412 to 78th.

Hitt said following the current path would be the most direct and least expensive option, while the other two paths would provide more access to the water line for future development.

The city received five bids to replace the water line. The bids specified the longer route, along U.S. 412 to 78th.

Nowak Construction, of Goddard, Kan., submitted the low bid to replace the water line at a cost of $3,035,451.

The city has proposed in its special meeting agenda to take several steps to lower the project cost.

The original bid included laying a 2,460-foot section of 8-inch line along Kremlin Street to move commercial water connections off the main line. The city will complete that portion of the project itself, cutting the project to $2,879,211.

The city proposes to further cut the project cost by changing the route to parallel the existing line, along the railroad right-of-way between 54th and U.S. 412 and Koch Nitrogen on 78th. The diameter of the proposed line also has been reduced to 20 inches, equal to the existing line.

Reducing the line diameter and following the shorter route cuts the Nowak Construction bid to $1,830,027.50, according to the city commission agenda.

The agenda proposes increasing the water capital improvement fund budget by $2.25 million to cover the water line replacement.

Hitt said the $2.25 million cost includes Nowak’s $1.8 million contract, city costs to lay the 8-inch service line and right-of-way expenses associated with the total project.

The agenda for tonight’s meeting specifies covering the $2.25 million increase in water capital improvement funds by taking $1.25 million from the city’s capital improvement fund and the remaining $1 million from the city’s street and alley fund.

Hitt told commissioners last week the existing water line has deteriorated over time, and now is “failing on a weekly, if not a daily basis.”

The line ruptured and required repairs 10 times in December, each time requiring crews to completely drain the line, and cut off its supply to city customers.

Hitt said each rupture and repair cost the city about $50,000, adding up to $500,000 in repairs last month alone.

Enid City Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the commission chambers on the first floor of the city administration building, 401 W. Garriott.