Southern Delivery System update: Project managers are looking for ways to accelerate development to take advantage of low prices in the supply chain

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette:

Utilities staff and construction personnel are analyzing different scenarios to see whether hiring more workers or buying more materials now could save money or time during the next few years. Building materials, such as steel, are cheaper now, thanks to the recession. “If — and this is a big if — you could get some savings on materials and construction, then that’s what they’ll come back and say,” said City Council President Scott Hente, who chairs the Utilities board. “If you can do things cheaper, I’m all for it.”

Speeding up SDS construction could lessen rate hikes for ratepayers, though it’s far from certain, said SDS spokeswoman Janet Rummel. As it stands, water rates are expected to increase by 12 percent yearly until 2016 for the project’s first phase, which includes a 62-pipeline and the hookup into Pueblo Reservoir…

Still, Utilities officials are already finding ways to cut millions off the price tag, Rummel said. Utilities is about to sign a contract with McCarthy Building Companies Inc. and Carollo Engineers to build SDS’s water treatment plant, at a price much lower than what Utilities originally estimated. “They identified millions in possible construction cost savings, if they design it in a certain way,” Rummel said…

Utilities’ study will be presented to the Utilities board at its July 20 meeting. The 1 p.m. meeting, on the fifth floor of the south tower of Plaza of the Rockies, 111 S. Tejon St., is open to the public.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

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