After less than a year of use, many local drivers have been noticing the now crumbling roundabout located at Zimmer Road and West Lake Street in Warsaw.
According to Kosciusko County Administrator Ron Robinson, the bricks that make up the structure of the roundabout began sinking approximately one month ago. Work toward creating the roundabout began in April of last year when E & B Paving Inc. in Anderson was awarded the contract with the low bid of $2,262,701.
Robinson said after federal and state funding from INDOT was granted for the project, the cost to the county was approximately $452,540 with some of the excess money funded by the county being returned at the conclusion of the project. According to Robinson, the project began construction around August and was completed late in November.
Though the roundabout on Fox Farm Road, which shared the same engineer as the Zimmer Road roundabout, has had no problems since its completion roughly 2 years ago, the newest roundabout began showing signs of an issue in June. Both roundabouts were designed by Troyer Group in Mishawaka.
According to Robinson, problems with the construction of the Zimmer Road roundabout began showing up after a vehicle ran into part it. Though the vehicle damage did lead to the pursuit of an insurance claim, Robinson said it wasn’t until the county received roughly 5 to 7 inches of rain that the real problems began to emerge.
“There are many different contractors involved in this, it’s not just one,” said Robinson. “Yesterday we had a large meeting of those contractors and said, ‘okay folks, this has got to be fixed.’ They are in the process of doing some testing of what caused it. They could go back out there and put some bricks up, but we’d run into the same problem. They need to figure out what happened. Within this next week we should see a company come in here to check compaction, check the type of soils – we are trying to look for where to place the blame.”
Robinson explained the contractors will be researching what caused the deterioration of the bricks throughout the next week to determine whether the issue is an engineering or construction flaw. In addition, Robinson does not believe the project will cost the county money in repairs as the county is not to blame for the collapsing bricks.
“We paid good money to put this up, this is on the companies that designed it and built it,” said Robinson. “We expected it to be done and done professionally and I think the companies we hired to design the project are professionals. This is not something that should be put on the tax payers, it should be on the companies that designed and built it.”
Robinson was not the only county official to share that sentiment. County commissioner Bob Conley added, “I would not foresee any costs to us (for repairs to the roundabout). We paid for it to be done right and I wouldn’t want to put more money into it.”