Biloxi Puts Construction Manager Concept To The Test

Biloxi hired Yates Construction to monitor the city's major road projects. According to Yates, the Bayview work is on schedule and under budget.

In fact, the concrete curbs poured along the edges of the new Bayview Avenue were put there ahead of schedule.

Landmark Contracting was hired by Biloxi's construction manager to do the curb work. One of its executives is Steve Waller. He said his small Gulfport company is very pleased with how the construction manager concept worked.

"Usually as a subcontractor with this kind of work, we'd have to go through a prime contractor and hope we got the work," Waller said. "But in this case, we can go directly and bid our package for work that we do as a subcontractor directly to the owner."

Biloxi typically awards a road construction project to the lowest bidder. In the past, city leaders took some heat, because some of the contractors got behind schedule. And the road work went way over budget. That's why the city hired Yates Construction to be its construction manager on big road projects like Bayview Avenue. It's Yates' responsibility to work with the six local contractors, so delays and cost overruns can be avoided.

Chet Nadolski is a project manager with Yates. "I think that based on the progress to date," Nadolski said, "we will exceed the city's expectations."

City leaders got an update on the Bayview Avenue project last week. Mayor A.J. Holloway said he was impressed by what Yates had already accomplished as construction manager just three months into the project.

"I think it's working great," the mayor said. "I'm very, very happy with the way this project is going."

Nadolski said from Yates' perspective, being a construction manager is working very well "in the sense that we're under budget and the fact that we're ahead of schedule on both projects, the Popps Ferry project and Bayview."

While crews were digging out the path for the new road, they found seashells, oyster beds and asphalt from previous road projects. That slowed down the road work. But the construction manager said it didn't change the completion date. Bayview Avenue will be done in May 2003.