Kingston greenway bridge issues won’t change planned completion

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A subcontractor in the ongoing Ladd Greenway project nearly burned its bridges before building them by attempting to add a new design element at a substantial extra cost — well after prices and plans were a matter of record.
Ladd project engineer Danl Hall explained to Kingston City Council members at the November work session that when construction firm Stethen Smith won the Ladd project with a low bid last year, they contracted with the U.S. Bridge Co. to build a pedestrian bridge as part of the three-part greenway.
The contract was signed a year ago.
Now, according to Hall, the Cambridge, Ohio-based bridgemaker claims its original design isn’t safe.
 U.S. Bridge officials said the handrails for the bridge — steel cables — need to be replaced by 2-inch angle irons, involving a good deal more steel.
The plan would also involve Kingston paying a good deal more money — $64,000 more, or about one-quarter of the bridge’s orignal cost.
The agenda item presented to council members to consider at the work session was a change order to pay for the additional construction.
The idea of paying for all that extra steel went over like a lead balloon.
“You’re looking at six people who are going to vote against it,” said council member Don White, “so there’s no point in even bringing it in here.”
After much, similarly disapproving discussion, council moved to ask Hall to go back and meet with U. S. Bridge and try to find some resolution.
He is expected to report back in December.
In the meantime, despite the apparent snag, Hall reported there shouldn’t be any delay in the project’s conclusion.
The bridge itself was scheduled for construction for Nov. 17, though the handrails may see some delay.
“Is this going to make (the greenway project) go any longer?” asked city fiscal officer Carolyn Brewer.
“We don’t anticipate that,” Hall said. “Barring anything unexpected, I still see it being done in January.”