City awards $1.7M bid for new sewer line north of town

Months after the completion of its new wastewater treatment plant, pictured here, the City of Moab is further bolstering its sewer system in the northern corridor of town. Photo by Carter Pape

The City of Moab recently awarded a bid to Williams Construction, a general contractor based out of Norwood, Colorado, to complete its northern sewer line project, which will improve the existing sewer collection system in that part of town in preparation for growth and an expansion of services, officials say.

The city will pay the firm $1.7 million for the project, an amount already included in the city’s budgeted spending on sewer improvements.

Williams Construction made the lowest of three bids on the project, with Condie Construction out of Springville, Utah, and Phaze Concrete out of Cedar City, Utah, also placing bids.

The project calls for the replacement of failing, private lift stations that currently move sewage from developments along the northern corridor to the city’s wastewater treatment plant at the western end of 400 North.

City Engineer Chuck Williams (who has no relation to Williams Construction) said that these private lift stations would “frequently” become problems for city staff because their property owners had a “lack of experience in servicing and maintaining their sewer facilities.”

Williams said that, in addition to the maintenance problems created by private sewer lift stations, privately-owned septic systems “are currently not meeting treatment requirements, and the State of Utah has requested that these properties connect to the city sewer collection system.”

Williams Construction disclosed during the bidding process that they were fighting an ongoing legal battle against a power cooperative organization in Norwood, where both companies are based. Williams Construction said it was the first lawsuit the company has brought forth in its 32-year existence.

After the completion of a project in December 2017, Williams Construction sued the co-op, San Miguel Power Association, “for reportedly withholding approximately $325,000” in unpaid overage and change request charges, according to Williams Construction. The co-op countered Williams Construction’s lawsuit with one of its own, seeking damages for pavement failure, a lack of revegetation and other alledged problems.

Both lawsuits are ongoing, with mediation scheduled for December, when Williams Construction is “very optimistic that this issue can be resolved.”

The city council voted unanimously on Tuesday, Sept. 24, to award the bid to Williams Construction. Williams forwarded the recommendation to select Williams Construction combined with the advice of the project’s design consultants, Bowen, Collins and Associates, based out of Salt Lake City.