Unexpected soil problems found at Trailblazer building site


Unexpected soil problems at the new Trailblazer Transit site in Glencoe are expected to cost more than $70,000.

Gary Ludwig, director of Trailblazer Transit, explained that two weeks after the July groundbreaking, the excavator noticed that five of the seven soil borings taken on the property were inconsistent to the soils discovered.

Specifications for the building and the preparation of the site was developed from the soil boring results. As a result, more money than expected was spent on excavation.

Ludwig said that Trailblazer Transit was told that the property was virgin farmland. However, what was discovered upon excavation that the two acre site that was given to Trailblazer Transit had been used to dump clean material from Glencoe and state construction projects over the course of many years. The soil borings reported only the first layer, and not the sub-layers of soils, Ludwig said.

Because of the soil problems, SEH charged an additional $6,100 for design fees. The office is now being lowered by one foot, and the garage is being lowered by two feet. There will now be a ramp connecting the office and the garage. The square footage and floor plan of the building remain the same.

By lowering the building, 7,000 yards of black dirt and organic material will need to be removed from the site, Ludwig said.

The Joint Powers Board, last week, removed the $78,000 asphalt charge from the project. An initial change order of $70,000 is predicted.

Additional costs are anticipated for concrete because of the soil issues, Ludwig said.

Soil borings were completed by Northern Technologies. The firm was paid $3,500.

In spite of the soil issues, construction is underway on the building footings. Steel for the garage has already arrived on site.

A revised budget for the building project will be presented at the next meeting, which will be September 23 at 9 a.m. in Glencoe.

In a related matter, the Joint Powers Board voted to delay payment of the additional $12,000 to SEH until the end of the project. The Joint Powers Board, in July, was told that the additional fee was needed in order to expedite the final drawings of the building. Although the revised final drawings were due July 15, they didn’t get completed and provided to Trailblazer Transit until August 18.