By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville City Council in a special-called meeting Monday voted 3-2 to reject the two bids for work to repair the hole in front of Chevron on Chalkville Mountain Road and re-bid the project.
The bids were rejected due to a lack of information for the city council to consider, including a total cost to perform the work. The project will likely cost $55,000 or more.
Councilmen Brian Plant, Perry Cook and Anthony Montalto voted to reject the bids and re-bid the project. Councilmen Alan Taylor and Buddy Choat voted to move forward with selecting either Veterans Landscaping Company or Milam & Company.
Mayor Gene Melton had just asked for the equipment necessary and the time frame needed to complete the project, since the hole was declared a public safety emergency Friday. Melton said he was looking for the “quickest” way to finish the repairs.
A representative from Veterans Landscaping Company said repairing the drainage structure would take eight to 10 working days, while a representative from Milam & Company said it would take eight to 12 working days. Both would have been able to begin the repairs Tuesday morning.
Montalto said he didn’t feel comfortable voting to award the bid Monday because he didn’t have total costs to consider. He said he would worry about the loser of the bid coming back and “finding fault” with how the city bid the project.
Melton said he’d go “back to the drawing board” and have new specs for the city council to consider.
The city council on Friday approved a resolution declaring a public safety emergency for the repair of storm-related damages to the drainage structure located at Chalkville Mountain Road and Service Road. The work being done in front of the Chevron on Chalkville Mountain Road is the result of a drainage pipe collapse.
Melton said it was discovered earlier this month and is a result of a corrugated metal pipe about 38 feet below the surface. Melton said he believes the pipe was originally installed improperly and that over time, a void developed above the pipe as big storms came through the area. After the void reached a certain height, Melton said, the ground fell in, which caved in the pipe. Melton said this is the theory on what has happened. As a result, the pipe is stopped up, which has affected water flow.
Melton said at Friday’s meeting that Jefferson County will not be assisting in the repair. Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight said he “did everything I could to explore it” and research the issue to bring to county officials. Melton had spoken with Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos prior to the special-called session. Melton said the city didn’t have time to “sit and fight” over who should be responsible for the work — either the city or the county.
According to the resolution, heavy rain events that put excessive strain on older drainage structures located partially on Jefferson County right-of-way at Chalkville Mountain Road and Service Road in Trussville caused a wall failure and collapse of a corrugated metal pipe, resulting in a sinkhole adjacent to these roadways.
The sinkhole is currently more than 15 feet deep and 15 feet wide, the resolution states. More than 55,000 cars travel Chalkville Mountain Road per day.
The resolution states that the flow through this pipe is now compromised and that the stormwater drainage system upstream does not function as designed, resulting in dangerous flooding conditions along Chalkville Mountain Road. If it were not repaired, “That’s going to look like Old Faithful,” Melton said of the area in front of Chevron.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.