MOUNT VERNON — Work continues this week on replacing the front steps at City Hall.
The steps were replaced in 2013, but there were problems, said Mayor Richard Mavis. The concrete began spalling, at least one step was a different height and there was damage to the brick pediments, possibly from a lack of expansion joints.
Mavis said the contractor at the time inspected the situation and negotiated a settlement with the city.
In the settlement, the contractor refunded $5,575, or half the money for the $11,150 project.
The new contract is more expensive as it tackles more issues. The bid price is $48,750.
One thing the last contract didn’t address, Mavis said, because it wasn’t in the contract, was the problem of the leaking into the basement of City Hall, which this contract will try to fix, and the city is planning to install heating elements in the steps, as well as expansion joints between the brick and the steps.
Jason Epley, assistant to the city engineer, said the void beneath the “porch” in front of the door is being filled in with a low-density concrete, which will not only stop most of the water infiltration, it will also provide support for the concrete porch slab, which had to be sawed into sections to remove.
On the brick pediments, Epley said, the sandstone tops will be removed and the top two races of bricks used to replace damaged bricks elsewhere in the structures. Concrete will be used to bring the structures up to their original height, and the sandstone tops will be replaced with a copper flashing around the structure to hide the concrete.
Epley said he is not sure how long the project will take and will depend on the weather in the coming weeks.