The city could end up spending eight times its original budget to construct Lift Station 87.
Expenses associated with the city’s Lift Station 87 project continue to climb.
The city’s latest cost estimates, which resident Martin Hyde presented during the open-to-the-public period at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, place the cost of building the wastewater facility between $62.9 million and $67.9 million.
The city has spent $42.3 million so far and anticipates it will spend an additional $20.6 million to $25.6 million to complete the project, located at 1900 Mound St. in Luke Wood Park. When completed, the lift station will handle a third of the city’s wastewater.
In September 2017, the city estimated the project would cost $54.1 million.
The city anticipates the project will be complete by March 2021, nearly a decade after the city originally hoped to finish building the facility. The Lift Station 87 project has faced lengthy delays and significant cost increases. In 2008, when the city picked a location for the lift station, it estimated the construction would cost $8.5 million. In 2011, when the city selected a contractor, it targeted late 2012 as a completion date.
The city hoped to recover as much as $20 million it had spent on the project when it sued AECOM Technical Services, an engineering company that worked on the project. In November 2018, however, a jury ruled AECOM owed the city no damages. Additionally, the jury ordered the city to pay $686,233 to former contractor Westra Construction Corp. for breach of contract.
The city has spent $9.1 million on legal expenses associated with the project. The City Commission held a closed meeting Aug. 12 to discuss a settlement strategy but took no action.
On Aug. 29, the city announced it completed underground work on the station and will begin on the two-story structure soon. As part of the project, the city intends to close a segment of Osprey Avenue between the Hudson Bayou and Alta Vista Street for eight months beginning in summer 2020.