Authorities consider possible engineering mistake | New

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A possible technical miscalculation forced the construction of the $ 49.8 million wastewater treatment plant 1 to stop temporarily. The delay has already cost nearly six weeks of construction, and it may be months or more before work resumes.

The new wastewater treatment plant was originally scheduled to open in March 2025 and was required due to Georgetown’s extraordinary growth. Multiple development plans, including the construction of a new Scott County high school, depend on plans to increase the capacity offered by the new wastewater treatment plant 1.

Work came to a halt on September 9 when contractors Judy Construction and GRW Engineering informed the Georgetown City Water and Sewer Service of their concerns about the construction, particularly the concrete foundation. Some “$ 5-6 million of concrete” was poured at the site, but apparently there is concern that an engineering miscalculation could have caused the thickness of the plant’s foundation to fail. is not strong enough to hold up under certain conditions.

The City of Georgetown and the Georgetown Municipal Water and Sewer Service have hired a national forensic engineering firm to examine the site and help determine the best course of action. The cost of the inspection will be $ 80,000 and is expected to take place within three to four weeks, Mayor Tom Prather said.

GRW Engineering of Lexington, the company that provided the technical specifications for the plant, has retained another Lexington engineering firm to perform an inspection, but city officials and GMWSS want a company with more experience in wastewater treatment plants and more independent than the company retained by GRW. . Officials said the engineering company GRW hired says additional concrete can be poured over the existing slab, but GMWSS officials are skeptical that the existing concrete will need to be removed and the foundation restarted for that the building remains structurally sound. .

Some walls have already started to be put in place, which adds to the cost and difficulty of necessary corrections.

“GMWSS will retain an independent, third-party structural engineer specializing in water and wastewater structural design and forensics to review the overall structural design in accordance with Judy Construction’s offer,” said Chase. Azevedo, Managing Director of GMWSS. “The third-party engineer will determine the nature and extent of any design defect.

“At the same time, GRW is doing the same review. Once the third party engineer from GMWSS and GRW has determined all deficiencies, GRW will recommend corrective action. All corrective actions will then be reviewed and approved by the third-party GMWSS engineer.

These corrective actions will be issued and implemented by Judy Construction through the contract ordering process, Azevedo said.

The project was 212 days in contract when work was halted, according to records. Hundreds of workers have been affected by the work stoppage, and GMWSS officials cannot say when work on the project will resume. The possible cost of any correction is also unknown, officials said.

Prather described the situation to city council at last night’s meeting.

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