GM Peter Thompson assures 'no cost' to community following recommencement of levee bank construction

BACK TO WORK: Construction has recommenced on Wagga's Main City levee.
BACK TO WORK: Construction has recommenced on Wagga's Main City levee.

Work has recommenced on stage one of Wagga’s Main City levee upgrade following quality assurance concerns over the standard of compaction in the levee bank.

A review of the work completed by Central West Civil was conducted by council staff in early March and questioned the standard of earth compaction. 

At this time, council publicly expressed concerns via a statement about quality assurance issues in relation to construction.

This resulted in the cessation of works, during which time council entered into negotiations with Central West Civil.

Speaking with media on Tuesday March 20, general manager Peter Thompson said those negotiations have since been resolved.

“We’re satisfied with the approach now to achieving the (required) compaction levels,” he said.

“The concern of ours was that those compactions weren’t being achieved and we’re addressing that now.”

Central West Civil general manager Simon Withers said negotiations had been “positive” and attributed council’s assurance concerns to scorching summer temperatures.

“Just the heat in our materials was making life difficult to work with,” he said.

“We’re using extra water now and it’s also cooling off a little temperature-wise which is making it easier.”

In August last year, Mr Withers cited his company as having “fairly extensive experience in (building) levees” and said he was confident he could “deliver the works in the assigned six-month time frame.”

However, the initial contract has now been altered, with Mr Thompson conceding the project would experience delays as Central West Civil reworks sections of major concern.

“We have varied the contract to make some additional provisions,” he said.

“But we’re satisfied we’ve got a way forward.”

Mr Thompson said stage one would likely be completed by May 2018 and expressed hope stage two would be complete before 2019.

The GM also assured ratepayers would not have to foot the bill for Central West Civil’s rework.

“There will be no cost to the community,” he said. 

The door is open for Central West Civil to apply for tender in stage two of the Main City levee upgrade.

“We haven’t seen the documents yet but we’ll consider whether it’s within our scope,” Mr Withers said.