Shallotte water project to jump $365,000 due to PVC manufacturing hiccups

BRUNSWICK COUNTY ––– Manufacturing delays are resulting in a cost increase for a project in Brunswick County. The jump in pricing was spurred by winter storm Uri, which left millions of Texans without electricity for several days in February.

As a result, many resin manufacturers have cancelled contracts with PVC manufacturers, causing delays to ripple through the supply chain.

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Brunswick County entered into a contract with Ralph Hodge Consruction Company in November 2020 to complete a $5.4 million water transmission main to provide redundancy in the Shallotte area.

The company alerted the county its supplier had hiked prices of 24-inch PVC pipe 67% from what it was originally quoted, from $63.50 to $106.40. With 2.9 miles of pipe remaining on the project, the increase would have cost upwards of $713,000 more than budgeted.

So instead of keeping with the PVC pipe, the company pitched switching to ductile iron pipe. The shift will still increase the total cost, but not as much as it would jump with the PVC. With the ductile iron pipe, the total cost will increase by $365,046,000.

In all, the total project cost will increase by 5% to $5.75 million, if commissioners approve the change order. The change order includes a 56-day extension, with a mid-July delivery date; this is in addition to a 53-day extension granted in March.

Commissioners will consider the proposal Tuesday at the county’s regular meeting.


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