Market Street Park opening pushed to fallAugust 15, 2018
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — Market Street Park will be completed in the fall, instead of the summer as planned.
And the cost of the project will be more than expected because of unforeseen extra work.
The Huntingburg Common Council heard and approved on Tuesday night 13 change orders — totaling $258,482.20 — for the project. That amount is in addition to the park’s original $4.4 million price tag.
A lot of extra work that had to be done was due to the soft subgrade, or soft soil, located throughout the site, engineer Nathan Waggner of Cash Waggner & Associates explained. Some other work included removing old underground piping or filling it with grout, rock excavation work, excavation work for footers and some walls, and dealing with a fourth cistern that was found underground. One change order was a cost deduction for removing some pavers.
”We had to modify some grades to make some things work better,” Waggner said.
Once completed, Market Street Park will span between Third and Fourth streets with its center just east of Old Town Hall.
The north end of the park, named German American Pavilion, will be an open entrance from Fourth Street, just east of the Current Blend building, that will include a plaza with tables and seating, a lawn terrace with seating, and a performance pavilion that can be used as a shelter house.
The center of the park, called Menke Plaza will be located just east of Old Town Hall and include a terrace with seating, a market pavilion with a walkway in the middle and curbless parking on either side, and a fountain.
The south end of the park, named Farbest Foods Commons, will include a legacy court and legacy wall, a south lawn and a ring-shaped walkway that will have features like a pergola and community swings.
With the extra excavation and dirt work that had to be done, the park will not open until the fall. The plan is for the park to be ready in time to host the Haunted Huntingburg event on Oct. 13, Mayor Denny Spinner said.
“Unforeseen conditions had a tremendous impact at the start of the project,” he explained. “Unstable soil surfaces, the cisterns (that were discovered underground) and the heavy rain in April and May caused significant delays.”
Storm sewers, gas and waterlines were relocated and all electric was run underground. All that work was planned, but the wet, unstable soil caused those portions of the project to take longer to complete than originally anticipated.
“That had to be done before we could start working on the ground up.” Spinner said. “We wanted to make sure that all of the infrastructure under the park was at its highest level of sustainability before we started building on top.”
Now that the underground work is done, “it’s full-bore to get the aesthetic parts of the park done,” Spinner said.
Though no one liked the overruns, the city councilmen were understanding of the changes.
“We knew the area was a low area of fill dirt,” Councilman Steve McPherron said. “It was probably poorly packed (before).”
Money to cover the extra cost can come from pledges from the public and the Dubois County Community Foundation that are dedicated to the park, as well as from the city’s rainy day and economic development income tax funds, Spinner said. The council will make that determination at a future meeting.
“The majority of excavation is done,” McPherron noted. “The surprises should be minimum going forward.”
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