Road paving project cost increases by $42,000

COVINGTON - The county will pay an additional $42,827.50 to resurface County Road 213 and Jack Neely Road.

Commissioners recently approved a change order for the project, bringing the total cost to $1.17 million.

The contract was awarded to E.R. Snell Contracting Inc. in July. But the contractor came to the county before the contract was signed and said the project could not be done for the original cost due to an increase in the price of asphalt.

E.R. Snell initially requested $209,160, but "the county negotiated with them to document how much the prices have gone up," Walter said, resulting in the $42,000 increase.

"The county determined that was preferential to rebidding the contract," he said, adding that the second-lowest bidder had been $75,000 higher than E.R. Snell.

"The county negotiated what it felt was an equitable increase. If we rebid it, it could have extended the work to springtime and costs could have been higher then," he said.

Walter said the cost of paving has increased "astronomically," nearly doubling in the past 18 months, but this is the first time a change order has been issued for a contract.

The project includes the resurfacing of a total of 3.2 miles: 2.4 miles of County Road 213 from Ga. Highway 36 to Dixie Road and 0.8 miles of Jack Neely Road from Kirkland Road to Brown Bridge Road.

Funding will come from special purpose local option sales tax revenues.

The project will get under way in the next two weeks, Walter said.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.