Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Average" isn't good enough any more...

Madison--not an average city
The view--as Rawson Contractors pumped mud into Monona Bay.

"...Just doing your job in an average way — in this integrated and automated global economy — will lead to below-average wages. Sadly, average is over. We’re in the age of “extra,” and everyone has to figure out what extra they can add to their work to justify being paid more than a computer, a Chinese worker or a day laborer." Thomas Friedman

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Krupp--Please be a good neighbor!

The Sequoia Commons project, Phase II, is nearing completion.

On the whole, I have been satisfied with erosion control for this project.  Except at the entrances, the site never sheds muddy runoff, and gravel pads were improved (N end) when I made suggestions. 

Nevertheless, problems at the two construction entrances have continued throughout...

Inaccurate inspection reports by City Engineering

Update 10/28, 10:00 am: Tim Troester has posted a new inspection for the Greenway project for 10/27.  His accurate inspection adds important detail, including the time and photos.  Therefore, I believe that Engineering is responding to my comments below, and that the situation is improving.

Accurate reporting is essential if our erosion control regulations are to work.  They could provide the feedback that engineers and regulators need to see if their erosion control measures are working. And they are essential to holding contractors accountable to regulations.

Inspection reports are legal documents.  They need to be accurate and detailed enough to stand up in court, under cross-examination.  Inspections by the City of Madison, for the most part, are neither accurate* nor detailed. 

For that reason, some citizens have lost faith that contractors are accountable.  That's why a lawsuit was filed by residents outraged by Speedway's behavior.  And accountability is the reason for this blog.  Our thousands of photos stand as accurate inspections.  Each photo has a time stamp--in contrast to City inspections, which so far lack this basic element.

Yet Contractor Report has found instances of inaccurate inspections.

The dangers of bidding low on erosion control

On the Hillcrest-Upland Greenway project, S&L Underground and Trucking bid only $500 on "stormwater control."

Either they were completely ignorant that this was a ravine draining half a mile of basin... or they thought: "We'll get the contract, then worry about the details later."

Now the time to "worry about the details" has arrived.

Problems with water main project on Gilmore St

Parisi has been doing a good job with the water main project on Gilmore St.  It's a site of special concern, because of steepness and proximity to LakeWingra.   Here's what we liked...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rawson Contractors pumps unfiltered muddy water into Monona Bay

This is the third dirty project we've noted for Rawson Contractors.  The first.  The second.

Over the rainy weekend, I received a tip from a local resident that a stormwater project on Lowell St. had unprotected stormwater inlets.  This is a site of special concern, because it's just a few feet from Lake Monona.  So Monday afternoon, I looked at the site.

Reports about problems from the weekend's rain

Today we'll be reporting on...
Sequoia Commons--Krupp Construction
Gilmore Street water/stormwater--Parisi Construction
For S&L Underground & Trucking at the greenway project, go here.

Stay tuned...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Starting coverage of S&L Underground and Trucking at Greenway project

This is a project of special concern, due to fears of residents that too many trees will be removed or damaged, and due to the steep ravine that drains a large basin.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Did the Lindsay paint factory contaminate Madison's water supply?

Hallman Lindsay manufactures paints in Sun Prairie, WI.   They proudly display their "Green Leaf Promise of responsibility to the environment.  But there is evidence that the old Lindsay* paint factory in Madison contaminated Madison's water supply, requiring the abandonment of Well #3 and a costly search for new supplies.