FLINT (WJRT) (5/2/2018) - The Flint City Council approved contracts for the latest phase of pipe replacements, and one of the contracts is grabbing the attention of other bidders.
The project involves replacing lead and galvanized water service lines, which run from city-owned water mains at the street to individual residences.
During the Flint water crisis, corrosive water drawn from the Flint River was not properly treated and ate away the protective layer inside the lines. That allowed lead and metals to leach into people's drinking water.
The multi-million dollar project, which is funded mostly by the federal government, involves replacing about 22,000 water service lines throughout Flint.
"Each contractor agreed to bid on a certain amount of zones,” Department of Public Works Director Rob Binscik said. “The state was pretty adamant that we will choose price than everything else.”
W.T. Stevens Construction was given the largest contract this year, receiving four zones for more than $11 million. However, the company still has work remaining from last year to complete first.
Binscik said W.T. Stevens is currently still working to replace 500 lines covered in the 2017 contract cycle.
The company's president, Rhonda Grayer, said her crews actually are not behind, because their contract was to replace 2,700 lines and they finished 2,700 lines.
"We were just able to move through the winter doing more replacements than we were required to do because of the amount of money that was leftover on the contract,” Grayer said.
Goyette Mechanical initially put in a bid for all 10 zones in the latest phase, but was given only two at just over $5.6 million. During phase four, Goyette workers were also able to finish their contract and some additional work.
“We have the capability to put over 10 crews on the project. So, whatever your needs are we are here for you,” Goyette Mechanical Program Director Joe Parks said.
Questions were raised during the meeting about the poor conditions some lawns were left in after line replacements last year. Grayer responded that W.T. Stevens was hired to replace pipes, not lawncare.