Statement regarding the rehabilitation of Main Road

As a consequence of various complaints , the road building team issued the following statement:

The project is an extremely difficult and complex project. It is not the contractor who determines the contract period but the client who is guided by the Consulting Engineers who use industry norms and their knowledge of the design detail to determine a reasonable contract period. The current contract has a specified construction period of 102 weeks, inclusive of non-working days (Sundays) but exclusive of special non-working days. (Annual builders holidays and public holidays). The Contractual commencement date was 17th January 2011 and the original contractual completion date was 16th March 2013 however a total 34 days extension of time has been granted for legitimate delays not caused by the contractor, but by unforeseen circumstances, making the new completion date the 8th May 2013. The extension of time is made up by, amongst other things, 10 days for the delay with the start of section H, 9 days attributed to the uncharted position and removal of two high voltage 66kv electricity cables and 6 days for the increased depth of the water main opposite the Olympia building.

The current contract was restricted to contractors who are registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) as 8CE or higher, indicating that they are independently assessed as capable of undertaking work valued up to R130 million. The current contractor is registered with the CIDB as 9CE indicating that there is no financial limit on the size of the project they may undertake. The Value of the current contract is R59 325 207.00.

Should the contractor not be granted any further extensions of time and should the project not be completed on the 8th May 2013 then the contractor will incur penalties.

With respect to the apparent lack of progress on the site we would like to point out that the laying of the new 700mm diameter ductile iron water main is on the critical path, which means that no other activity may take place until this water main has been laid and tested. The 700mm diameter pipes are 6 metres long and weigh 1078 kg each. These pipes are lifted by a machine and only require a few workers to manipulate them into place and to connect it to the pipes already laid. Workers are also used to wrap the pipe in a PVC blanket. Minimal labour is used in this activity, the nature of which is slow. The pipes have to be laid at a certain depth and in the current section are on a curve. The laying of the pipes on a curve adds to the time consuming nature because to comply with the manufacturer’s specifications, each pipe may not be deflected by more than 2 degrees requiring additional supervision to ensure compliance with this requirement. Furthermore the new pipe has to traverse an assortment of electricity cables, sewer connections and stormwater pipes.

Only once the pipe has been completed is it subjected to the required 18 bar pressure test, to see if any leaks appear. The other activities such as, the construction of sub-surface drain, kerb laying and the compaction of the base layers can only take place once the pipe has passed the pressure test. These latter activities are more labour intensive and will result in more activity on the site.

While the pipe laying activity has been in progress the remaining workers have been busy with the walkway, retaining wall, ramps and relaying of the sewer system adjacent to the public toilets and the Haven Night Shelter which is largely below the roadway. The relaying of this sewage system and the replacement of the sewage pumps will significantly reduce the likelihood of the harbour beach being contaminated with sewage caused by malfunctioning of the antiquated sewage system.

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