By Gretchen Wehmhoff

In a special assembly meeting Nov. 20, the assembly voted to authorize the borough manager to use an additional amount, not to exceed $300,000, for the port peninsula project.

“We have run into a pile delivery schedule issue, which has potential to delay the project up to 22 days,” said manager Brad Ryan.

The approval allows Ryan to move ahead with adding an additional barge and tug to the supply chain, per Field Order 02.

“With the authorization of that field order, it puts another barge on the schedule with templates to construct piles one and two, which are, the deepwater piles, but also puts template seven on, which is up inside, and additional piling,” Ryan said.

The cause of the delay deals with delivery of piles to the coding yard then to the Bellingham area to be spliced. The assembly had at one time authorized pre-procuring the piles, but the coding process is slowing things down.

Ryan says that project is still moving forward, but the combination of the delayed 42” pilings, specifically for dolphin three, and maintaining movement on what he referred to as “the critical path,” could slow the project.

The current project has a contingency fund plan, but the manager was not authorized to utilize any funds without assembly approval. The approved funds would come out of this year’s port funds.

By authorizing the additional money for the project, Ryan and the engineers will not need to locate $300,000 to cut from the project..

Change orders are not unusual and the amounts are commonly not over the dollar amount to seek assembly okay. 

The additional barge and tug were scheduled to leave Washington on Nov. 24.