Fairfield OKs extra funds for storm sewer project in area troubled by issues

The Rita Mae and Muskopf drives storm sewer project wraps in earnest this week. The contractor began work in the first week of October to put in a roughly 1,700-foot pipe, mostly down Rita Mae. Crews will return later this year to do concrete work at each end of the pipe and to have Rita Mae Drive repaved. PROVIDED
The Rita Mae and Muskopf drives storm sewer project wraps in earnest this week. The contractor began work in the first week of October to put in a roughly 1,700-foot pipe, mostly down Rita Mae. Crews will return later this year to do concrete work at each end of the pipe and to have Rita Mae Drive repaved. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Construction crews will wrap up installing a 1,700-foot storm sewer pipe in the Rita Mae Drive neighborhood this week, but the city is preparing to pay a little more for the project.

This area of Fairfield has been troubled for years by sediment flowing from the adjacent hill at Rita Mae and Muskopf drives onto the roadway, as well as seeping into the city’s dry wells.

“This project will divert stormwater and small storm debris so that it doesn’t impact the area streets,” said Fairfield Public Works Director Ben Mann.

ExploreMiami’s new $6 million program to give mental health aid to schools for struggling students
Storm sewer pipe had been installed along the Muskopf and Rita Mae drives area to help fix an issue that left dirt and sediment along the roadways of the flat neighborhood. Work wraps on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, but concrete and pavement work will be done this spring or summer. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE
Storm sewer pipe had been installed along the Muskopf and Rita Mae drives area to help fix an issue that left dirt and sediment along the roadways of the flat neighborhood. Work wraps on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, but concrete and pavement work will be done this spring or summer. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

He said a 36-inch diameter pipe has been installed to allow the stormwater to run into a detention basin so dirt and sediment can be filtered out. Construction work wraps up in earnest today, but crews will return either in the spring or summer to finish up the project, Mann said.

“They’ll come back to do the concrete work at each end of the pipe and to have Rita Mae Drive overlayed with new pavement,” he said.

City Council approved in July a $721,225 contract with Majors Enterprises to fix the stormwater runoff problem, but even though the contract included contingency funding, additional contingency funds for the project were approved earlier this week.

Mann went back to the council on Monday to ask for $65,566 for additional contingency funds for the project. However, he believes the project will still come under budget and won’t require that financial cushion.

During periods of heavy rain, some of the local streets experienced heavy flooding which results in sediment on the roads. Rita Mae and Muskopf drives, as well as Lake Michigan Drive, Muskopf Court and Sherry Drive, have been impacted by the problem.

The contract also includes funds for additional detention basin improvements.

Even with the added contingency funds, the project is under the original estimate of $880,000. With contingency costs folded in, Mann was prepared this past summer to ask City Council for close to $1 million for the project.

Majors Enterprises’ bid came in more than $240,000 under the estimate, according to bid documents.

Mann said while there could be several reasons for bids coming in under estimates is the novel coronavirus pandemic. He said as local governments were scaling back projects, companies likely believed only so much work would be available in 2020 as communities were only doing essential projects.

In Other News