These new “Board Briefs” are designed to be highlights of the topics that warranted the greatest discussion at the committee meetings and full meeting of the MWRA Board of Directors. Each month we will further highlight one topic in our News and Notes publication.
Approval of the FY18 CIP
The Nut Island Odor Control project jumped over $20 million between the proposed FY18 CIP and the final FY18 CIP. Having not been able to weigh in on this change prior to today, Advisory Board Executive Director Joe Favaloro raised concerns regarding dual odor control technologies being utilized on this project.
Carbon adsorbers, which is the option currently proposed for the Chelsea Creek Headworks and already constructed in Braintree/Weymouth, are proposed in addition to wet scrubbers (a technology in place for Nut Island prior to the fire).
This “belt and suspenders” approach as the Executive Director stated, adds over $4 million dollars to the cost of this project. In addition, he expressed concern that this dual odor control approach will set precedent for future projects at Ward Street and Columbus Park Headworks, adding significant costs to both projects.
The AB Executive Director suggested prior to any future award of the Nut Island construction contract staff must justify the need for dual odor control approaches. Mr. Pappastergion further suggested a cost-benefit analysis be provided to the MWRA Board of Directors.
Chelsea Creek Headworks - Change Order 1
The MWRA Board of Directors approved Change Order 1 for the Chelsea Creek Headworks Upgrade project, which added about $250 thousand to the project to relocate some critical components within the facility.
Conversation, however, centered on the fact that this would be the first in a series of change orders to this project. MWRA staff currently estimate total change orders to this project in the order of $10 million. MWRA staff reminded the Board that this project was extremely complex, due both to the age of the facility, and the fact that the facility must continue to run while being rehabilitated.
The capital budget already included $7 million for anticipated change orders; however, these updated projections indicate the needs are far greater than anticipated.
Board Member Andy Pappastergion opined that estimating 10% additional costs for change orders was already an aggressive figure given the nature of the facility, and that he would expect closer to 15% increase in costs.