Sewer follow-up work begins Tuesday
| May 31, 2011 1:28 AM
The owner of the construction
company that installed the sewer system in the Cabinet Heights area
subdivision Monday said his company will make repairs to the roads
that seems to have resulted from settling soil.
Brian Edstrom of Edstrom
Construction, Inc., of Rexburg, Idaho, said Monday his company will
begin repairs beginning Tuesday. The project was completed last
“We plan to be there a week
from tomorrow,” Edstrom said Monday. “We have every intention of
going back and finishing the job. For 30-plus years, this company
has never left a job unfinished, and I don’t suspect we’re going to
be doing that in Libby.”
Edstrom said initial duties
there will include a “walk-through to get an assessment,” and then
“we’ll begin the work.”
Edstrom’s commitment to make
the repairs comes with great satisfaction to one resident in
particular, Hubert “Bert” Ward of 176 Highwood Drive. Ward has been
vocal in his criticism of the work, and he has written City Council
members detailing his concerns.
Ward contends an area about 35
square feet near a cleanout at his home has settled about “half a
foot with several areas two feet deep.”
Ward continued in a letter he
dated May 10 that areas around his driveway also have begun to
settle, some of which require “yards of fill dirt to fill.”
“It’s just amazing the way this
has all sunken,” Ward said. “It can’t be safe. My wife has visitors
who come and go, and there’s this hole about 18 inches deep. This
whole thing has just been an awfully ugly can of worms.”
Ward showed areas of his yard
where his home was tapped into the new sewer line and earth in the
yard had settled as much as three feet.
“I don’t know what they used as
fill, but it’s just not right,” said Ward, a retired forester.
In the middle of the Highwood
Drive, just across from his driveway, Ward stood near a traffic
cone placed near a sewer manhole cover. The traffic cone, with city
ownership spray painted on the side, was covering a hole that
appeared to be at least six inches deep.
“Oh, you’d break your tire if
you hit this,” Ward said. “The city tells me they can’t do any more
than this (place the cone), because then it would void the
follow-up agreement with the contractor,” Ward said.
Leading up to Edstrom’s announcement his
company would return to fill settling earth, the City of Libby,
through its engineering company, had sent Edstrom a letter asking
that repairs be made.
In a document obtained by The
Western News, Ryan Jones, an engineer with Morrison Maierle, Inc.,
an engineering firm in Kalispell, sent a letter dated May 13 to
Edstrom detailing his concerns with the project.
In the letter, Jones writes of
an inspection of the construction area on May 10, that “many
deficiencies were observed with the majority of the problems
appearing to be due to settlement both in the roadways and yards.
Several areas could potentially pose public safety risks.”
Jones continued: “We believe
that it is in the best interest for all parties involved if your
immediate action is taken to remedy these problems. I am writing to
request your prompt attention to these matters.”
Montana statutes mandate a
response within 30 days.
Libby City Administrator Jim
Hammons said he knows the project was bonded, and he suspected the
problems would be remedied. However, Hammons still referred
questions to Jones at Morrison Maierle, Inc., who
also acknowledged the project is bonded.
“I have no doubt that this will
get worked out,” Jones said. “Contractually, it’s a must.”