Houston County’s Moody Road project costs go up

wcrenshaw@macon.comNovember 6, 2012 

PERRY -- The cost of widening Moody Road is going up, but it isn’t really unexpected.

The Houston County Board of Commissioners approved a change order Tuesday that will add $134,500 to the cost of the original $5.52 million contract. The money was approved to cover the cost of removing poor soil from the base of the roadway.

Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said about a .75-mile section of soil has an elasticity and could expand at certain times of the year, causing bulking in the road and sidewalk.

The problem was known when the contract was done, but it wasn’t known how much dirt would have to be moved. Stalnaker said the contract included a unit price for the removal, and now that it has been determined how much soil needs to be removed, the full amount can be approved.

He said the issue has caused bulking and sinking in the existing roadway.

“In all probability we are going to have the same problem,” he said. “I would rather spend the money now than have to come back six months later when the road starts buckling and have to tear it out and redo it.”

The project is funded by the 2006 special purpose local option sales tax. Stalnaker said due to other projects coming in under budget, there is plenty of money in the fund to cover the additional cost.

The road is being widened to five lanes from Ga. 96 to Ga. 127. Stalnaker said the first phase, from Ga. 96 to Woodard Road, is expected to be completed by the end of the year and about four months ahead of schedule.

The second phase, from Woodard Road to Ga. 127, is expected to be completed in about a year, well ahead of the scheduled completion date of March 2014.

Stalnaker credited the quick pace of the projects to an early completion bonus the county offers to contractors.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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