Neighbors to fight for a contractor with good environmental record

On June 24, bids were opened for the Hillcrest-Upland Greenway project.  Two of the four companies had bad environmental records.  The apparent low bidder was the one responsible for killing trees on Spaight Street.

Last year, after the fiasco of trees being killed during reconstruction of Spaight St., citizens vowed that contractors should be held responsible for damage to trees.  In fact, the City's Subcommittee on Construction Site Erosion recommended that a "blacklist" of incompetent contractors be maintained.

The contractor for the Spaight Street mishap was S&L Underground & Trucking of Sauk City.  They are one of the four companies bidding on the Greenway project.  More information here.  As of June 24, S&L Underground & Trucking was the "apparent low bidder" for the Greenway project.  An ideal choice for looking after our valued trees!

Speedway Sand and Gravel of Middleton was another of the four companies bidding on the greenway project.  During the recent reconstruction of Edgewood Ave, Speedway was cited by Contractor Report for numerous violations of good erosion control practices.  City inspection reports also cite violations of the erosion plan.  As of now, they have sent plumes of muddy water four times into Lake Wingra.

You can see a photo of Speedway's Edgewood construction site during the June 21 storm below.

Edgewood Av during June 21, 2010.

It looks as if a mudslide is taking place!  Is this the company you want to work around our valued trees?  If the movement to block irresponsible contractors is to have any teeth, we have to keep Speedway out of the Greenway!

Since our greenway is the sole exit for stormwater from a substantial portion of Sunset Village, it's going to be a disaster if we have a large storm during construction with all the resulting bare earth.  Engineering is "hoping" a big storm won't happen.  And Speedway has already demonstrated it's lack of attention to erosion control.

"Erosion control" was one of the two justifications for this project.  Yet one big storm during construction could produce as much sediment as comes in 10 years from the undisturbed greenway.  So City Engineering has to take extra measures to prevent erosion here, and once necessary measure is excluding contractors with a bad record.

Sunset Village park, looking downstream, after big storm of June 21.
Photo by Tim Kessenich

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