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Hidden flaws raise cost of parking lot

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Surprises under the surface of the new city hall’s parking lot mean Greenwood has to pay for more than repaving, with an unexpected price increase of $175,000.

The contractor hired to repave the parking lot discovered foundations from old homes, patches of mud and other areas under the blacktop where a layer of compacted stone wasn’t in place to support new pavement.

Also, some old concrete and stone under the asphalt was breaking, which would cause more weak areas, community development services director Mark Richards said.

If the city didn’t fix the problem, the lack of a compacted stone foundation for the parking lot would lead to cracks and potholes within just a few years of repaving, he said.

Originally, the city had planned to spend about $77,000 on the parking lot work. But with the added fixes, the total cost was $252,000, controller Adam Stone said.

The city would have to fix the parking lot every few years if it didn’t pay more now to dig out the foundation and replace it with a new crushed limestone base, Richards said.

Contractor Grady Brothers of Indianapolis found the weak spots in the parking lot’s foundation after grinding off the asphalt surface before repaving it, Richards said. Greenwood was repaving the lot at the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and Main Street as part of work renovating the former Presnell building, which became the new city hall in April. The city’s administrative offices previously were located in the old Polk building at 2 N. Madison Ave. and in a building on Emerson Avenue.

The contractor didn’t find out how weak the foundation was under the asphalt until workers ground down the pavement and drove heavy equipment across it, Richards said.

The higher cost was paid for out of money in the city’s tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts, Stone said. The city had planned to spend a total of $4.2 million to renovate the new city building out of TIF funds.

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