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Skatepark project gets more costly
Mucky subsoil needs to be replaced
Pictured is the Great Bend Skatepark at Brit Spaugh Park where the old concrete and asphalt surface is being replaced. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

When excavations began to replace the concrete surface of the Great Bend Skatepark at Brit Spaugh Park, the crews found an unwelcome surprise that will cost the city about $40,000, Interim City Administrator Logan Burns told the City Council Monday night.

During the of demolition of the asphalt and concrete, they found two feet of mud/muck underneath as the years of water infiltrating the cracks in the asphalt have destroyed the subsoil, forcing the need for the project change order, he said. 

The additional cost options for the wet soil’s removal and replacement included:

• Removal of saturated soils from the 125-by-125-foot area at the depth of two feet – $10,000. 

• Use of city-owned soil from the Sports Complex as backfill for the area, no guarantees as to the moisture content, amount of irrigation pipe and vegetation that could/will cause problems - $13,500 (Burns said he did not recommend this). 

• Have Stone Sand supply and place clean low-volume change (LVC) fill dirt soils as backfill up to grade - $25,300. 

• Have Stone Sand supply and place clean dirt/concrete screenings - $29,700. The dirt/concrete screening would be a better option as it stabilizes the soil better and would also allow the pad to get wet again and not sacrifice the integrity and compaction of the soil until the concrete contractors are on-site. 

In the end, Burns recommended approval of a change order from Stone Sand for removal of soils for  $10,000 and supply and place clean dirt/concrete screening for $29,700, for a total of $39.700. The council approved it.

“I can’t promise this will be the end of this,” he said, noting there may be more hidden surprises. But, “I think we need to keep going with this project.”

Before the council OKed the work, Mayor Cody Schmidt questioned the cost.

“I am struggling with this,” he said. He said by using the dirt from the Sports Complex, the city could save money on the project.

But, in the end, the council agreed with Burns that the city’s soil posed too many concerns. “We need to get this project done right,” Ward 3 Councilman Cory Urban said.

To accommodate the additional costs, without tapping Quality of Life sale tax money, options are to take monies from Park Maintenance where they have a balance of $50,000, Burns said. 

Other options are using Federal Emergency Management Agency flood disaster funds of $51,026.56 and FEMA walking bridge reimbursement of $34,925.59. 

Any of these funds or a combination of any can be used to cover the additional expense, he said.