Politics & Government

Stadium Way project costs increase again

Tack on another $650,000 for the Stadium Way road project.

The Tacoma City Council approved the added expense Tuesday, bringing the total cost of the project to $13.3 million.

The initial fix was approved in November, shortly after three intense storms overwhelmed the city’s stormwater system near the Spanish Steps at Commerce Street.

In one instance, the water flooded a law office on Commerce adjacent to Old City Hall, city officials said last year.

That fix, which included replacing an old stormwater pipe at the base of the Spanish Steps, was supposed to cost $2 million. But as crews dug into the ground, they found unexpected utility lines and other challenges, said Mike Slevin, Tacoma’s environmental services manager.

“As we got down that really steep slope, there was 100-year-old infrastructure there,” Slevin told the council Tuesday.

Unusually wet weather is also partly to blame for the increased cost, Slevin said. The soil was so saturated that the contractor couldn’t work part of the time, according to a city memo.

To stay on schedule, construction crews with contractor Ceccanti, Inc. had to work weekends, when workers are paid a premium.

The city also changed the design of the project after approving it last year, adding two stormwater manholes and one waste water system manhole to the contract.

Money for the increase will come from stormwater fees that all residents and businesses pay, and from the city’s transportation capital fund.