The Sewerage & Water Board may soon have to reissue a bid for construction of a sewage pumping station in New Orleans East.
The agency’s board Wednesday gave General Superintendent Joseph Becker permission to fire project contractor TKTMJ Inc.
Attorneys for the S&WB said the firm has not responded to repeated orders that it repair problems with its work.
“We’ve had some problems with the construction of this matter in too many areas,” special counsel Nolan Lambert told the board. “Our position has always been that we want our building built according to our (specifications). If you’re willing to do that, we’d love for you to stay on and continue to do it. They haven’t been able to do that.”
TKTMJ was awarded a $1.2 million contract in 2013 to construct a sewage lift station at 7300 Chef Menteur Highway to replace the existing Plum Orchard Road station. There is about $400,000 of work left on the contract.
The scope of work included building a well on the site. S&WB employees said the existing structure lacks structural integrity and allows water to seep through. An outer wall for the structure also was improperly installed, and the company has not managed to connect a necessary pipe inside the station, Lambert said.
He said the company has “refused” to comply with requests from the S&WB’s construction manager to fix the problems.
TKTMJ Vice President Michael Tubre said the company’s tests do not indicate any structural problems. He said TKTMJ believes the S&WB is making unreasonable requests, including asking that the company excavate the site to make repairs.
“We acknowledge that we have issues. We know that there are reasonable approaches,” Tubre said.
The company’s attorney asked the board to defer its vote and work instead toward another solution. The board declined.