Colusa boat ramp still on schedule, despite hiccups

City Manager Jesse Cain and SnL Group’s project supervisor for the boat ramp, Clayton Oles, said on Monday that they still expect the Colusa Boat Ramp project to be completed within the 120 day window the construction company was given to finish it, despite some recent unforeseen complications.

“Everything is on schedule,” Oles said. “This week we will have the rough grade done, and will start work on utilities also. We’re hoping (to be done early) but things change all the time on a construction site.”

Cain said that everything was going well with the project, but added that it had run into a couple of issues. He said that a bird’s nest had been found in a tree set for removal, and that the city was awaiting approval from the Department of Fish and Wildlife to cut it down. In addition to the nest, a change in the elevation of the river bed had presented another problem.

“The biggest challenge is the elevation of the river is lower than expected,” Cain said. “We’re working on that with Clayton and the Department of Boating and Waterways. I’m hoping to have a solution and a cost, that way I can get the Department of Boating and Waterways’ approval to move forward with that.”

According to Cain, the depth of the riverbed was 34 feet above sea level at the project design phase, and is currently at 28 feet above sea level. Cain added that the current plan is to use one-ton and half-ton boulders to bring the depth of the riverbed to 36 feet above sea level, which will require a change order to the contract with SnL Group. Cain said that he and the contractor were still working to figure out what the difference in cost will be.
“It could be a zero change order cost, or could be as high as $200,000… I won’t know (the numbers) for a couple more days. We just came up with this particular concept this morning, and (Oles) is working on it right now,” Cain said.

The city was awarded a $3.9 million grant through the Department of Boating and Waterways, $1.7 million of which was earmarked for construction. SnL’s bid for the project came in at $1.936 million, and the Department of Boating and Waterways previously allowed the city to move over some of the mitigation funds that were included in the grant to make up the difference. The city has $170,000 budgeted in contingencies for the project’s construction – which are used to cover any change orders. Cain said he hopes the city will be able to roll over any mitigation funds remaining at the completion of the project to cover any cost not covered by the contingency fund.

But Cain also said that work on the ramp is being conducted about 0.09 acres outside of the approved work area, which will require the city to dip into the mitigation fund, which currently sits at around $400,000. At this point, it is unclear what any additional mitigation measures would cost – and thus, how much the city might have to roll over toward construction costs at completion of the project.

“Once I know this is the plan we’re going to move forward with, and I know that’s what the change order is going to be, that’s when I’ll go to all the permitting agencies and ask what mitigation measures are necessary,” Cain said, adding that in a worst-case scenario, he believed the city could be on the hook for around $100,000 for the change order. n

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net