Brad Jones, of the Jordan, Jones and Goulding civil engineering firm in Atlanta, had presented change orders totaling just over $42,000. Part of this additional money is to cover soil replacement.
After old sidewalks were removed and samples were taken, the contractor discovered that “some of the soils underneath the sidewalks were in bad condition.”
New dirt is being brought in to provide a better base for the new construction, and also to provide a better root environment for the new trees that are being planted.
Commissioners also asked about the status of the project, which they said has appeared to stall in some locations. Commissioners pointed to the Holmes clothing stores, where employees and customers have been walking over gravel for several seeks now.
Jones said the Holmes stores is among the areas where poor soil was discovered. However, he promised work is going to be completed there very soon, probably “no more than two weeks.”
In addition, he said the current phase of the Streetscape project appears on track for a completion date of mid-September. A second phase of Streetscape work is planned at a later date.
Also discussed was the one-year warranty for the trees, which began going into new planters in recent weeks. Jones confirmed that the warranty period begins after the contractor pulls out and the work is verified as completed – not one year from the time trees are planted.
The trees that are being planted are flowering cherry and the Everclear variety of Chinese elms. Both trees are supposed to have a tighter root ball that will not tear up the sidewalks like the previous downtown trees. Also, Jones said the new planters have reinforced sides and better site preparation has been done to help control root growth.