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Contractor Pledges Flagstaff Dam Repairs

By Joe Ferguson for the Arizona Daily Sun

Daryl Melvin, capital improvements engineer for the city of Flagstaff, stands on a tarp covering cracks at the retention basin west of Railroad Springs
Photo Credit: Josh Biggs/Arizona Daily Sun

A cracked dam on the western edge of Flagstaff that has halted progress for two years on a flood control project deemed vital to the redevelopment of much of the Southside neighborhood will be repaired by the contractor at no cost to the city beginning later this month.

And the city of Flagstaff, although paying $900,000 initially for oversight of the project out of its federal flood control account, is expected to have its account eventually made whole, freeing up that money for other projects.

Multiple cracks in the earthen embankments of the Clay Avenue Detention Basin, first discovered in 2010, will take the Los Angeles-based general contractor that originally built the basin an estimated 13 months to repair.

Alpine Diversified will rebuild the embankments at its own cost, said Daniel Caldron, a spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers. The project originally cost $6.5 million

Not Built To Specs

Tests conducted in 2010 and 2012 have confirmed the entire earthen embankment system was not constructed as required by contract plans and specifications, Calderon said.

Specifically, he said the tests found that the contractor used the wrong materials to build the embankments and did not compact the soil sufficiently while building the earthen dams.

Additionally, the central embankment filter, which acts as a ‘crack stopper,’ was not installed correctly.

Alpine has assumed responsibility for the repair and replacement of the entire earthen embankment system and will reimburse the Corps for the costs of testing, analysis as well as future construction oversight efforts, he said.

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