A long-delayed Sandy Springs sidewalk project could restart soon, thanks to legal action the city has taken.
The plan to add sidewalks to Brandon Mill Road from Lost Forest Drive to Marsh Creek was approved in 2019 at a cost of $1 million, but a variety of issues with the contractor, A1 Contracting LLC, have put the project on hold.
“We have implemented a safety plan, and the contractor filed for bankruptcy, which gave (it) protection from being removed from the property,” City Attorney Dan Lee said. “We’ve got the bonding company and the contractor in mediation through (U.S.) Bankruptcy Court not this week but next week.
Mayor Rusty Paul added, “We were hoping to be under way by the first of May.”
After the meeting, Lee said there were other issues with A1 that popped up after it was awarded the contract.
“The project has been delayed initially because the design requires shoring because of some trenching, and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules, engineering rules require they submit a shoring plan, which they did, but they never implemented it,” he said. “They had delays. They did not do the traffic calming and enforcement that was required under the contract, and it presented a hazard to the neighborhood.
“So we issued a stop-work order and demanded a notice of when they could proceed to fulfil the contract and never received it. So we moved to terminate the contract, and when we did that, they filed for bankruptcy, which gave them protection.”
Lee said he hopes the city uses this incident to avoid similar problems in the future.
“When we looked into the contractor’s financials, we found it had (a ratio of) two to one debts over assets,” he said. “… We’re looking into doing our own credit checks through this. Hopefully, we can use this as a good learning experience.”
A phone message left with A1's leaders at its office seeking comment was not immediately returned.