The City of New Braunfels and the general contractor responsible for rebuilding West Klein Road have settled a dispute over the quality of work on the $10 million project.
The initial phase of the project, approved by voters under the city’s 2013 bond program, involves widening Klein Road to add lanes of traffic in each direction between Klein Way and the South Walnut Avenue intersection.
The segment between Klein Meadows, near New Braunfels Middle School, and Farm-to-Market Road 1044 will have one lane of traffic in each direction.
Planned improvements include additional left turn lanes and dedicated left and right turn lanes at major intersections.
The city entered into a contract with construction company J3 Company, LLC in 2018 for the project following the usual public bidding process.
During the construction of the first phase of the project, disputes arose over the alleged construction of the causeway after city officials claimed that portions of the work’s causeway had begun to fail.
As part of the mediated agreement, the city will retain $598,137 for the pavement repair, and J3 will accept $48,520 as full and final payment for completed and accepted work on the project.
Additionally, J3 agrees to dismiss a lawsuit he filed in Kerr County 198th District Court with prejudice. Each party will pay its own court costs and attorneys’ fees.
The parties agree not to disparage each other and acknowledge that there has been no finding of wrongdoing or wrongdoing under the terms of the agreement.
“The city is thrilled to see this issue come to an end,” said Garry Ford, the city’s director of transportation and capital improvements. “We are currently working on a plan for the necessary repairs and expect to send it out for submission in June.”
The deal was approved by city council members last month.
A statement from J3 to the Herald-Zeitung said: ‘The parties have reached an amicable resolution. We are glad the dispute is over and appreciate the efforts of city officials and their attorneys to work cooperatively to resolve the controversy. More importantly, the issues with the road will be resolved so that it can be used by taxpayers.
Work was halted late last year as the city hired an outside engineer to investigate the failures.
The third-party engineer’s investigation, conducted by Kansas-based engineering consulting firm Terracon, did not blame J3 but recommended design changes in the project.
In the Terracon report, made available to the Herald-Zeitung, the conclusions on the cause of the pavement deterioration were: water ingress and weakening of pavement layers, premature opening of traffic and high volume of heavily loaded traffic using the road.
The report recommends designing and constructing more robust measures to control moisture variations in pavement layers during and after construction and using pavement materials that are less susceptible to damage from changes in moisture content. .
Recommendations also include consideration of the effects of construction-related traffic on pavement design and performance and avoiding the opening of pavements to traffic until completion.
The project plan also calls for the addition of a 10-foot shared-use pedestrian and bicycle pathway adjacent to both sides of the street, the realignment of the Farm-to-Market Road 1044 intersection, and the addition of curbs on both sides of the roadway, and rebuild driveways with concrete aprons.
The second phase of the Klein Road reconstruction project, approved by residents under the 2019 bond program, from FM 725 to Walnut Avenue, is considered a separate project. The city will use a different contractor, according to city officials.