Mediation Continues in Duck River Project
Officials from the Cullman Utilities Board met recently in an executive session to discuss the mediation and arbitration process with contractor ASI Constructors regarding the Duck River Dam project. The construction efforts on the dam, the intake structure, and the spillway are considered 95 percent complete. Officials estimate the project is just 60 days or less from total completion at this point.
Originally, the project was projected for substantial completion by January 2016. A number of storms that produced significant rain fall and included the 100-year flood of Christmas put the project slightly behind. Most assume this phase of the project will now be completed by July.
At this point, the contractor and the city are haggling back and forth concerning expenses related to various aspects of the project. This is why mediation has been deemed necessary. The specific details in questions have not yet been released.
The reservoir project is intended to create a 640 acre lake that requires 32 million gallons per day capacity in northeast Cullman County. This will work in conjunction with the area’s current water source, Lake Catoma.
According to officials, the project is still on budget, but any financial changes made during the mediation would push construction higher or lower than the projected cost. There was already a change in the financials of the project after the price jumped approximately $110 million because of a required redesign. The final cost might come in lower thanks to savings on supplies and materials, but nobody is sure just yet. The city intends to begin work on repairing a pedestrian footbridge soon, but will not begin until the reservoir phase of the project is over to avoid interference.