Charlestown Rt 12 Repairs this week…
The Department has been working towards a final agreement with the railroad, with the Design Team finalizing plans and incorporating comments received from the railroad. As a reasonable safety measure, the railroad is requiring installation of an electronic track monitoring system. This system continuously monitors the railroad tracks for any movement and is typically submitted by a contractor as part of the construction contract. The site is challenging with steep slopes, thick vegetation, and does not offer easy locations to install these sensitive electronic monitoring systems. The initial thought was to include this component in the construction contract. But requiring the contractor to locate the system and coordinate with the railroad would take additional time. It would also be difficult for the Department to estimate costs. So the Department will have the monitoring system designed in advance and included in the construction contract to save time.
Meanwhile the Department is developing the construction requirements specific to the track monitoring system and the construction sequencing of the soil nail wall. The construction requirements are not anticipated to affect plans. However, these requirements may influence the contractors’ bids and therefore we need to take extra steps. The Department met with the railroad this past Tuesday (10/5/21) for additional clarification. Following that meeting, the Department has been finalizing the Geotechnical recommendations and calculations requested by the railroad and expects to have the revised submission to the railroad in the very near future for further review and approval. Although the Department planned to advertise the contract yesterday (10/7/21), the contract cannot be advertised until we have the railroad’s acceptance. The contractors, who were given advance information at last week’s pre-bid meeting, have been advised that the proposed advertising date is delayed.
In terms of funding, the Department is seeking to fund the Charlestown Rt 12 repairs through federal emergency relief under the Presidential Emergency Declaration. However, based on the date of the Charlestown Rt 12 event and the dates covered by the Declaration, it is unclear if the repair work will be covered under the Declaration. If emergency funds are not available, the Department has a backup plan to fund the project with other federal funds.
Due to the complexities and unique aspects of this repair, there are a number of things being worked out, as the Department moves towards advertising the contract shortly. Please be assured that the Department is doing everything it can to advance the repairs as expeditiously as possible.