A representative with Jokerst Inc. appeared before the Desloge Board of Aldermen on Monday night to give an update on the problem-prone railroad crossing project that has cost the city more than originally planned and gone on longer than anticipated.
Because of the additional cost and continued delays, the project has resulted in feelings of consternation on the part of the city aldermen. For this reason, City Administrator Dan Bryan asked Dan Naeger with Jokerst to attend the meeting to give the board a better feel of the project’s current status and if the deadline with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will be met.
“Today we got out to start the curb and gutters,” Naeger said. “I’ve talked to the foreman today and he thinks they will be done with the curb and gutters Thursday afternoon. We will immediately move on to the sidewalks. We need three days on the sidewalks, which will be Friday and Monday and Tuesday of next week.
“Then the plants are opening next week, so we will move right on to the paving on Thursday and Friday, which we need two days to get that done. The weather looks good from now until then, so I think this can be done — get it paved before Christmas. Then after Christmas, we would like to come back, get the signs up, get it striped and then we’re going to have to schedule a walkthrough with MoDOT. As soon as we can get that done, then we can [demolish] the other end. Then I was assuming you’d rather wait until spring to seed the straw and finish it up.”
Bryan said, “Well, just so everyone knows — Union Pacific (UP) completed their work on the 18th of October. We kind of had a preliminary Dec. 12 completion date on this. That was passed onto MoDOT. I’ll have to get ahold of MoDOT this week. We’ve come to the agreement that we are going to push it back to the 29th. So, I’ll pass it on to those folks that the new completion date will be 12-29.”
Addressing Naeger, Bryan continued, “I think communications between us are improving. I kind of felt like I was in the dark a few times when I didn’t hear from you and [the aldermen] are asking me, ‘What’s the progress?’ But I think that’s improving and I’ve seen a little bit of improvement between me and you over the last few days, so I appreciate that.”
Naeger offered his apologies to Bryan and the board, explaining that the firm had several projects going on this fall and all four needed to be completed at the same time. He said the crew had “gotten extremely tied up” and “things had gotten a little rough for a while.”
“I was actually out in the field working myself,” he said.
Bryan asked if the other crew was working a project in Farmington. Naeger said they were, but as soon as that project was completed they would all be moving to the Desloge project.
“So, you don’t see anymore snags along the way?” Bryan asked. “We’re smooth sailing. They’re going to fire that plant back up, so we’re going to have asphalt the week of Christmas, right?”
Naeger said he had spoken with someone earlier in the day who affirmed the asphalt would be ready.
Bryan said, “Now, here’s the other thing — do you know when the insurance expires on that?”
Naeger responded, “Feb. 15, I think.”
Bryan continued, “Because Feb. 15 is the deadline to have that other crossing [demolished] for MoDOT, so we need to make sure we keep that in mind. The insurance expires the same day that MoDOT says that they need to have final inspection on that [demolition] at Cedar crossing.”
Alderman Alvin Sutton asked, “And if that expires, the financial burden is on who?”
Bryan said, “I think Jokerst is getting ready to volunteer it.”
After Bryan asked if Naeger would like to speak to the issue, the Jokerst representative replied, “I’d prefer not to.”
Naeger said Bryan needed to contact MoDOT so the walkthrough can be performed and Jokerst will be able to continue its work on the projects so both can be completed by Feb. 15.
Bryan replied, “I’m with you there, Dan, but I’ll also point out that we had a four-week lag between Oct. 18 and 12-whatever. I’ll do my part to keep us on track and hopefully MoDOT stays on point, but we had a four-week lag, too. I want to make sure that’s not forgotten.”
In other action, the board approved two ordinances. The first, accepting and approving the consolidation of lots 23 and 24 of Riverview Estates known as 105 Riverwalk Drive; the second, vacating South Waller Street (formerly Fourth Street).
The aldermen also approved bids for turnout gear submitted by Fire Chief Larry Gremminger and offered their opinions on employee performance evaluations and secondary employment/voluntary work forms submitted by Bryan to the board.
“I’ll do my part to keep us on track and hopefully MoDOT stays on point, but we had a four-week lag, too.” Dan Bryan, Desloge city administrator
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org