If the city has not already submitted the application for the Joint Fill and Removal Permit, it will be submitted soon using the engineer’s 30% design. When the city received the engineers’ 30% design and a cost estimate of $767,100 plus a $191,778 contingency, it immediately spurred a series of discussions between city staff, RVCOG, and the engineers. RVCOG has been tasked with searching for grants to help fund the project. This cost estimate was considerably higher than the city was anticipating, so the City Administrator and staff began applying some of their own experience in managing large construction jobs to apply value engineering to reduce costs. Jeff Alvis, who is the City Administrator and Public Works Director has years of experience managing similar-sized projects in Jacksonville, and is well-positioned to see this project through.
Initially, engineers’ cost estimates are carefully constructed to be conservative, or on the high side of what the final, actual cost will be, especially when the design is in its early stages There’s good reason for this technique which is to protect their customer, in this case the city, from being subjected to costs higher than anticipated.
As the design is refined from 30 % to the 100% stage, the major cost items will be broken-down. For example, the first item is labeled, “Mobilization and Preparatory Work,” for $102,700. Within this number are items such as the additional engineering costs to complete the design to 100% and to monitor the project during construction. Another focus of the city and the engineers is on innovative methods to reduce the $198,100 cost of excavating the new stream channel and placing the 2,000 cubic yards of rock needed to contain the stream. Potential contractors are already being contacted and are using their previous experience to suggest equipment and construction methods that are already establishing potential areas of lesser costs.
Additionally, there are several local organizations and non-profit civic associations that will be called upon to pledge funds and volunteer labor to help the city in this large project. These commitments, when used as matches for grant applications, will greatly improve the chances of grant fund success.