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Council OKs Bradner contract

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Work to cost $828,991

By Martin Salazar

The City Council took another major step last week toward pursuing the expansion of its Bradner Reservoir.

City councilors voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a professional services agreement with URS Corporation for pre-design engineering services for the project. The contract stipulates that the amount the company will be paid won’t exceed $828,991.

URS Corporation is the same company that performed the geotechnical investigation on the proposed expansion of Peterson Dam. The Peterson expansion project was scrapped after URS discovered that the geology of the area would likely increase the cost of the project by millions.

Once city officials discovered that the Peterson expansion was no longer feasible, they quickly changed their focus to expanding Bradner Reservoir.

Among the first tasks URS will complete under the new contract is a geotechnical investigation to ensure that the Bradner Dam expansion project is feasible. City Utilities Director Ken Garcia told the Council that if the firm discovers any problems with moving forward on the Bradner project, it will notify the city immediately.

Garcia said the estimated cost of increasing storage capacity at Bradner by up to 2,700 acre feet is currently $28 million. He said the scope of work for URS includes coming up with a preliminary design for the project, which will enable the city to get a better handle on how much the project will cost.

City Manager Timothy Dodge told the Council that the design phase of the project will likely take a year and that construction would likely take another year.

“Optimistically, we’re looking at having a completed project in two years,” Dodge said.

As envisioned, the project will involve raising the main embankment dam at Bradner from 68 feet to a maximum of 150 feet. The height of the auxiliary embankment dam will be raised from 26 feet to a maximum 108 feet.

The contract calls for the company to be paid:
• $45,093 for project management
• $65,974 for a topographic survey
• $55,674 for a boundary survey
• $11,760 for outlet works inspection
• $33,261 to revise flood hydrology
• $395,667 for the geotechnical investigation
• $77,813 for project configuration
• $23,125 for a conceptual level probable construction cost estimate
• $24,478 for environmental permitting strategy plan development
• $50,634 for a pre-design engineering report
• And $22,954 to update the Preliminary Engineering Report as it relates to Peterson and Bradner Dams.

Councilor Tonita Gurule-Giron questioned whether funding agencies are on board with the city’s decision to switch projects.

Dodge said the city has been meeting with funding agencies and the governor’s chief of staff about the situation. He said the governor’s chief of staff expressed that he understood why the city has changed projects.