Columbus mayor seeks engineering concessions for Hornsby work

Jennifer Mevissen
Staff Writer

Dissatisfied with City Engineer Larry Bohrer being unable to make concessions on the Hornsby Street project, Columbus Mayor Dave Povolny suggested talking to the higher-ups at the firm TKDA.

“Well, there’s not too many people above me,” Bohrer told the Columbus City Council on Feb. 22.

It was determined there was no need to resolve the issue last month as no further engineering work would be required until this spring. The intersection where Hornsby Street meets TH-97 is being moved approximately 500 feet to the east.

Due to the complexity with constructing a road through a wetland, the engineering costs increased for the Hornsby Street realignment from $144,000 to $226,382. In turn, the contingency was decreased from $93,620 to $40,535.

“It’s extremely difficult to predict where you’ll end up before you begin,” Bohrer said.

The project is estimated at $1,328,565. The city’s share is $775,100. Columbus received a $594,000 grant from MnDOT to complete the project. Bohrer explained that the engineering for Hornsby Street is around 23 percent of the construction cost which is less than other past projects.

“The costs vary greatly depending on the circumstances,” he said.

Bohrer said a team of professionals at TKDA has invested more than 1,600 hours between the preliminary and final design and construction phase. The total value of the effort to date is $161,280, he said, noting there is roughly $65,000 worth of work remaining.

In addition, Bohrer offered a compromise on the engineering costs.

“There’s still some risk on my part by making that a not-to-exceed,” he said.

The discussion will be continued to a later meeting.