EARLY — The city’s disagreement with Prater Equipment of Comanche over some of the streets Prater rebuilt is growing.
Early City Council members, already dissatisfied with the condition of Old Comanche Road and Longhorn Drive, added two more streets — East River Oaks and Allen Drive — Tuesday night to their fix-list. Council members authorized the “city administration and legal counsel” to give Prater 10 days to repair all four streets to the city’s satisfaction, or the council warned, the city will hire other contractors at Prater’s expense.
Prater vice-president Mark Pirkle has said the city hasn’t brought any proof that the problems with the streets are the company’s fault, and he doesn’t believe his company is liable. If the city brings proof, the company will pay for repairs in accordance with a yearlong warranty, Pirkle has said.
Early officials have said asphalt on Old Comanche and Longhorn “bled” severely through the top rock layer and portions of the asphalt were ripped up by passing traffic.
Officials have contended that the problem is the result of deficient workmanship and/or materials and that Prater is responsible under the warranty to repair the damage.
Prater has put down more rock on portions of the street, resulting in improvements, but there are damaged areas that need to be repaired, council members said Tuesday night.
Also Tuesday, city engineer Ken Martin said he inspected the streets recently and saw that bleeding was occurring at some of the intersections on East River Oaks and Allen Drive.
On July 10, council members authorized city staff to send Prater a letter starting a 10-day timetable for repairing the damage on Old Comanche and Longhorn.
Martin said it’s normal to have some “bleeding” of asphalt after street projects such as Early’s, but that the bleeding on the four streets had been abnormal. He said it appears the excessive bleeding happened because not enough rock was stuck to the asphalt.
Martin said the areas of Old Comanche and Longhorn were vastly improved when Prater put down more rock, but said “we do have some issues” with areas where asphalt was torn up and needs to be patched.
“As far as we’re concerned, that’s part of the warranty work,” Martin said.
In July, conditions on Longhorn were so severe that the city nearly had to close part of the street, Thomas said. Prater was not immediately available to put down more rock, so the city temporarily hired Kelcy & Sons of Early to put down rock, Thomas said. He said the city has paid the Early company’s $1,900 bill and will ask Prater for reimbursement.
Pirkle has said his company will bill the city for the extra work it has done on the streets.