GRANGEVILLE – Knife River Corporation will be paying the City of Grangeville $12,500 to resolve a long-standing issue with degradation problems on its Pine Street paving project.
At its Sept. 15 meeting, the Grangeville City Council approved the compensation that works out to be about half of the $24,990 project conducted by Knife River in September, 2012.
“They’re not admitting fault,” clarified Mayor Bruce Walker, rather they don’t want any hard feelings and also want to maintain their relationship with the city for future projects.
Public Works Director Jeff McFrederick said this compensation payment won’t be enough to redo this project, and he envisions the funds to go toward patching problem areas and also into a fund to keep the road maintained.
Problems with Pine Street road breakup emerged not long after the project was completed. The city has been in discussion with Knife River representatives regarding what it perceived as problems in the asphalt mix design, while the corporation blamed it on substandard preparation of the base by the city. The matter has been complicated by the passage of time for testing the street for whether it was incorrectly paved, especially in considering both the amount and speed of subsequent truck traffic along Pine Street that has accelerated existing deterioration.
To clarify the matter, the city contracted $2,600 with Allwest Testing for a pavement distress evaluation of Pine Street, and last month its report essentially split the blame between the city and Knife River: insufficient compaction and pavement that was too thin and not enough oil in the mix. On this finding, the city met with Knife River to seek some type of compensation, and initially the corporation was offering around $3,500, according to McFrederick, which changed after their representative came to view the street situation first-hand.