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Mistake means cost of County's new international bridge project will increase

By Matthew Smith
Published On: Nov 19 2012 03:37:57 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 25 2012 05:47:30 PM CST
EL PASO, Texas -

Unforeseen work tied to the Tornillo-Guadalupe International bridge has raised the cost of the project by an additional $187,344.

Commissioners Court previously awarded a bid for the construction work tied to this step in the bridge crossing to the Dan WIlliams Company for $5.8 million. 

At a later date, it was noticed that a discrepancy existed between the General Services Administration's (GSA) numbers and the County's plans when it came to the elevation of the embankment.  The discrepancy in numbers would change what elevation America's side, and Mexico's side, would match.

Commissioner Dan Haggerty questioned whether this was a mistake on the county's part, or the GSA which is handling the Government's oversight of the crossing, that the discrepancy wasn't noticed until after a bid was accepted.

"So this is an oversight on someone's part?" asked Haggerty, "but not ours."

Commissioner Tania Chozet, who is overseeing the project, pointed out issues with the fact that the discrepancy arose.  She asked Sydney Nemer, an assistant county attorney looking at the case, to shed some light on the situation. 

Nemer seemed to believe the issue didn't lie with the County.  However, she didn't seem ready to go out on a limb that the county could ultimately recoup money from the government.

"You're saying go ahead, and maybe go after them?" asked Haggerty.

"Maybe," said Nemer.

The County eventually moved forward to approve the changes in the project at the cost of $187,000.  Haggerty was the only person who voted against the approval.  The item passed by a vote of 4-to-1.

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