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GHD to handle construction management of Rehoboth outfall

Information meeting set at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at fire hall
Rehoboth Beach commissioners (l-r) Stan Mills, Lorraine Zellers and Kathy McGuiness, discuss the next steps for the city’s ocean outfall project, set to get underway Sunday, Oct. 1. RYAN MAVITY PHOTO
September 13, 2017

Engineering firm GHD will serve as construction manager for the Rehoboth Beach ocean outfall project, due to begin Sunday, Oct. 1.

The work is covered under the city’s master contract with GHD, agreed to in 2010, at a cost of $364,000. The commissioners then approved task orders for GHD to manage four areas of work: improvements to the wastewater treatment plant, building the force main that will take treated effluent to the outfall site 6,000 feet off Deauville Beach, building a pump station and the outfall work in the ocean. 

Mayor Sam Cooper said GHD will receive and approve shop drawings, inspect the work, process payments and perform other construction management tasks. 

Given their experiences on the City Hall project, which went over budget with more than $1 million in change orders, the city commissioners were highly curious how the change-order process on the outfall, a $52.5 million project, will work. 

Jeff Sturdevant, engineer with GHD, said contractors will submit change orders but will instead have to submit a request for information and then, if the proposed change order is outside the scope of the contract, the contractor would have to submit a proposed change order in writing before starting work. Sturdevant said 5 percent of each contract has been allocated towards change orders, and the commissioners will be able to see proposed change orders every month.

“If there are change orders, they will not sneak up on us,” he said. 

Greg Pope of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control‘s financial assistance branch, said there is a $10,000 threshold where change orders will also come under review by the state, which has provided the loan for the project. 

Contractors will begin mobilizing Sunday, Oct. 1. Ocean contractor Manson Construction will not begin work until Sunday, Oct. 15 due to environmental regulations. The entire project is scheduled for completion Monday, April 30. 

Sturdevant said GHD has reviewed and approved construction plans including those of Allan Myers Construction, for work on the pump station and upgrades to the treatment plant including installing new screening equipment.Also approved are plans by A-Del Construction, which will construct the force main. Sturdevant said all contractors have been given a notice to proceed to begin purchasing and accumulating equipment. He said to expect to start seeing construction trucks moving into the city, particularly on Henlopen Avenue where the force main will run. GHD and contractors will provide further details and allow questions from the public at a town hall meeting set for 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Rehoboth fire hall. 

“Everything is moving ahead,” Sturdevant said.