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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Parking lot problems continue for Justice Center construction

MOUND CITY – As the work on the Linn County Justice Center enters its final phase, most of the people associated with the project thought that paving the parking lot in front of the new building would not be a problem.

At least not until excavation began last month. Since then county workers have had to address several issues that were buried beneath the former parking lot around the courthouse annex building.

Bill Matlock from River City Construction added to that list of issues when he reported to the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, April 4. Matlock told the commissioners that the parking lot needed additional work.

The River City representative said that the project was getting wrapped up except for the parking lot and a few other issues. He said he plans that they will create a punch list of miscellaneous items to complete during a walk-through on April 12.

Matlock said that Kaw Valley came out and proof-rolled the parking lot and basically the whole site failed. That soil is unsuitable, it is not going to meet the compaction. It’s the type of soil and the condition it is in.

“I am waiting for Kaw Valley to make a recommendation,” said Matlock.

According to Matlock, Kaw Valley has verbally said that probably with all the existing stuff that is in there – the water, the sewer, the culverts, the electric – that they are too close to go in there and do a mass removal.

Matlock said that Kaw Valley will probably recommend to remove a certain depth of 4 to 6 inches of additional material. They are probably going to recommend that they put a grid system down, like a fabric grid, and then put some additional rock under the base rock.

“Hopefully we will have it today or tomorrow and we will get you an approximate cost so you can make a decision,” he said

“That’s not uncommon on an old site like that to have junk soil,” said Matlock.

Other issues they are waiting on are the variable frequency drives (VFD) which should be here this week.

Matlock explained how the hot water heater is still an issue. The dates the manufacturer had for the gas valves slipped back again.

He also said his company scrambled Friday and found a hot water heater in stock in Michigan very similar to the one called for in the specifications – with the engineer’s approval. The company will submit an official request on that hot water heater this week but they are going to go ahead and purchase that one with an expedited backup.

The secondary hot water heater is supposed to be here in four weeks, and the single one will get water into the building, Matlock said. It will function but a backup still needs to be installed

River City told QuesTec Mechanical not to cancel either order, because nothing can be trusted at this point.

The original order is down to the gas valves, he said. Honeywell manufactures the gas valves and that company said that they would have the gas valves by the fifth, but again we don’t trust that so we are trying an alternative method there.

The last issue is the smoke purge panel that is in the process of being manufactured. That is the only other item that pertains to occupancy of the building, said Matlock.

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