Project: Baton Rouge Wastewater Pump Station SCADA System July 13, 2005

By Control Engineering Staff July 13, 2005

July 13, 2005

Last week we received signed contracts for Phases III and IV. This week we received a notice to proceed from the city of Baton Rouge, which establishes the project start date as July 11th, 2005. The notice stipulates we are allowed 270 days to complete Phase III software and integration and 150 days to complete the Phase IV communication system. The Phase II control panel assembly and installation has been separately contracted for by the city with a contract completion time of 300 days from the notice to proceed.

Phases II, III and IV are largely interdependent. They must start together. Phase III will complete a month or more after Phase II is completed, as equipment must be physically installed before it can be commissioned and field witness tested. Phase II was bid approximately one year ago, so the notice to proceed for this phase was necessarily delayed until the Phase III and IV suppliers were selected, contracted and issued a notice to proceed.

With the project now underway, two significant challenges have developed:

1. Prior to the bid, the general contractor’s electrical subcontractor had received a price proposal for the control panel fabrication from a leading water industry supplier. This supplier later discovered that they had not included all panels and materials required by the specifications and, due to the year’s delay in issuance of a notice to proceed, were within their rights to withdraw their bid. This situation, coupled with material price increases during the past year, has left the general contractor with an estimated $200,000 price problem. A notice to proceed has not been requested pending resolution of this issue.

2. It is apparent from this scenario that our completion of Phase III within the 270-day contract completion time is not within our control, given our dependence on Phase II’s completion. Add to this our contract time clock begins ticking on July 11th while the Phase II contractor appears to still be weeks away from a notice to proceed.

A written notice of this situation has been provided to the city’s engineering consultant and a meeting has been requested of all parties to discuss methods of resolving these issues.

Stan Prutz, P. E.
QDS Systems, Inc.