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Dam Removal Update: City Restarts Bidding Process Following Lawsuit Settlement, Project Delays Expected

Following last Friday's lawsuit settlement with the Beaver Excavating Company, city engineer Tony Demasi discusses the next steps to get the project back on track.

In light of the , the completion of the dam removal project has been pushed back past the proposed late-July deadline.

Right now, the city is preparing the proper documents for the rebid of the dam removal, said city engineer Tony Demasi. The initial paperwork should be sent out to potential bidders by late April.

By mid-May, the city will receive statements of qualifications from the various contractors that will be vying for the lucrative six-figure contract.

From there, the city will choose the top three candidate teams which will pitch the city on why they should be selected for the job.

Teams will most likely consist of architects, engineers, contractors and environmental specialists.

Demasi and his department will conduct interviews, evaluate the bidders’ technical proposals and choose the best plan.

By the end of June, the city expects to pick the team, and in early August, Demasi plans to align the groundbreaking of the project with the commencement of the much-anticipated bicentennial celebration.

Why the rebid?

Last Wednesday, Beaver Excavating sued the city and demanded it rescind the $1 million dam removal contract awarded to RiverReach Construction on March 26.

Beaver officials alleged the city was not following the proper Ohio Revised Code to bid out the project.

By March 30, just two days after the lawsuit was filed, the city settled prior to a scheduled hearing in Summit County Common Pleas Court.

Cuyahoga Falls Law Director Paul Janis refuted Beaver Excavating’s claims that the city violated Ohio laws and said it settled because it deemed the original “less than satisfactory” bidding process left some proposers confused about the nature of the job and what was involved.

In a March 23 interview with Patch, Beaver Excavating contract administrator Matt Sterling said the city violated an Ohio Revised Code for not bidding the project out as a design-bid-build, in which all the plans are laid out before the project begins.

On Thursday, Demasi said that design-bid-build isn’t practical since no one knows exactly what lies beneath the water near the centuries-old dams.

Like with the first bidding process, he said the city will go with a design-build approach, which will allow engineers and contractors to change the plan as they see fit depending on what kind of variables they encounter during the removal.

Demasi couldn’t comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but said the design-build process is a legal approach to the project and the city will implement it.

How do you think the city is doing in handling the dam removal project?

Philip Hoffman April 06, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I don,t see any reason for removing the dams. At Water Works park it will be only a narrow stream that you can walk across. When they removed the Munroe Falls dam, the river lost depth due to all the silt that wasn't removed.
Geoffrey Watson April 07, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I think the dams should remain. I think people enjoyed riding up and dpwn the river in the pontoon boats. I also think the city of Cuyahoga Falls was wasting about half million dollars of the "damn money" until Beaver Construction's lawsuit. A thumbs up for Beaver Construction, and besides whom knows anymore about dams that beavers.
Justin Keesey April 25, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I believe the dams should be removed. The project will restore water quality to the river, and bring outside money to Cuyahoga Falls. The possibility of future jobs and development to the area. If the removal does produce high class whitewater, it will bring private rafters and kayakers from many miles away, thus dumping out of town money into the local economy.
crazyriver July 03, 2012 at 06:00 PM
If "beavers" know so much about dams, why didn't they participate in the rebidding process? I think a "thumbs down" on this contractors lawsuit is more appropriate! Considering that the current drought conditions to date have resulted in the lowest consistent river flow many of us have seen (or may ever see), it would have assisted in an expedited deconstruction project. Maybe these drought conditions could have saved the City money or allowed for more efficient river restoration activities, but I guess we will never know.

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