The Western Council of Construction Consumers awards Berg & Associates with the Innovative Industry Solutions Award at the annual Awards Gala on October 2, 2014 in Lafayette, California.
Construction Manager Melanie Nelson received the award for the Sidewalk Repair and Tree Replacement Project in Council District 8 Project on behalf of BergCM along with our longtime client, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative Program Manager Anna Apostolos.
The nomination summary tells the story best for this innovative solutions project:
"It’s hard to understand why a City of L.A.’s splendor has so many crappy sidewalks - 4,600 miles of them.
The problem is far more serious than a few cracks – we’re talking extreme safety hazards. Residents find it difficult to safely leave their homes, suffer jacked up driveways, choked plumbing, expensive repairs, have to manually turn their City water on and off at the street in order to take a shower, or can’t get insurance because the dangerous conditions are a personal liability.
While the $20 million budgeted sat unused and would be swept back into the Los Angeles' general fund, Councilman Bernard Parks of the City of Los Angeles’s 8th Council District was determined to find a way to repair the worst sidewalks in his district and help residents who had appealed for assistance for many years. He sought a strong collaborative partner that would get the job done, avoid the City’s pitfalls of red tape, and provide a frugal, swift and innovative solution.
Partnering with Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI) as Program Manager, who brought on Berg & Associates to assist in the project bidding and manage the construction, Parks used what media dubbed ‘a loophole’ to allocate an initial $350, 000 in discretionary funds. Competitive bids utilized local contractors, allowed adding 10 more locations.
Nearly 100 locations are now complete, with 300 more to be added by the time Councilman Parks retires on June 30, 2015, at a total construction value of $1.5 million.
Using the latest in root barrier technology, destructive trees were replaced, in a ratio of 2 to 1, by sturdy, disease-resistant, drought-tolerant trees, with non-obtrusive root systems. Uplifted sidewalks were removed and new sidewalks were constructed, transforming neighborhoods block by block.
As quoted to the L.A. Register, Parks said, “We found a way to create a system to fix these sidewalks at what we think is a fraction of the cost. It creates an urgency and a timeline that we do not get from the City.”
By bypassing the broken City system, 400 residents will now be able to step safely onto the sidewalks in front of their homes. Cost savings to the taxpayers is monumental, and the time saved is easily measured in years, not months. A victory for all citizens of Los Angeles, this inventive model will hopefully serve as inspiration to other council districts to get creative for infrastructure repairs -- and get it done!"