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Second Appeal Letter
PA ID# 037-99037-00; Los Angeles (County)
PW ID# 3118; Hillside Drive West Road Repair
Mr. Paul Jacks
Governor’s Authorized Representative
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Response and Recovery Division
3650 Schriever Avenue
Mather, CA 95655
Re: Second Appeal – Los Angeles (County), PA ID 037-99037-00
Hillside Drive West Road Repair, FEMA-1577-DR-CA, Project Worksheet 3118
Dear Mr. Jacks:
This letter is in response to your letter dated December 21, 2006, transmitting the referenced second appeal on behalf of Los Angeles County (Applicant). The Applicant is appealing the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denial to revise the scope of work and increase funding for the repair of damages to this section of Hillside Drive West Road.
As a result of heavy rainfall during the January 2005 Winter Storms, FEMA prepared project worksheet(PW) 3118 for $656,222 in September 2005 to fund the stabilization of a slope failure along Hillside Drive in the Topanga area of Los Angeles County. The scope of work in this PW included the construction of a 155-foot long soldier pile wall with piles eight feet on-centers, pre-cast reinforced concrete panels, drainage behind the wall, and restoration of the asphalt pavement. The Applicant submitted a first appeal to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) on March 31, 2006. OES forwarded the appeal to FEMA on May 26, 2006. The Applicant requested that FEMA revise the scope of work in order to reflect a soldier pile wall with piles spaced six feet on-centers with a cast-in-place reinforced concrete wall and timber lagging for forming purposes. Specific revisions included (1) an additional five (5) soldier piles (for a total of 26); (2) a cast-in-place reinforced concrete wall with timber lagging instead of pre-cast reinforced concrete panels; (3) 232 feet of guardrail; (4) 162 feet of 3-inch PVC pipe required for drainage; and (5) reinforced steel for concrete wall. The Applicant also requested that FEMA revise the cost estimate from $656,222 to $1,042,615. As part of the appeal the Applicant provided the following: (1) a document(date, preparer, and agency all unidentified) with a rationale for the use of a cast-in-place concrete wall with soldier piles; and (2) a line item estimate for the repair costs identified as Total Contract Estimate for Project RDC0014667 – Hillside Drive @ CM 0.12, Final Pay Quantity Items For 155 Ft Wall, prepared by County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works(LADPW) and dated March 30, 2006.
The Acting Regional Director denied the first appeal on August 14, 2006, because the Applicant did not provide sufficient documentation to support their request for the additional work items. In this denial the Acting Regional Director noted that construction of a cast-in-place wall instead of the recommended pre-cast wall would not constitute a significant change in the approved scope of work, provided wall dimensions remained the same.
The Applicant submitted a second appeal to OES on October 31, 2006. OES forwarded the appeal to FEMA on December 21, 2006. The Applicant reiterated their position regarding the need for a change to the scope of work to comply with the design, along with the associated increase in the total project cost. In addition to copies of the PW and first appeal response, the Applicant included the following information with the second appeal: (1) a copy of the geotechnical report prepared by the URS Corporation (URS) for the Hillside Drive Slope Failure (URS Job No. 29401960), dated March 25, 2005; (2) seven pages of information prepared by LADPW under a cover sheet titled Hillside Drive at Culvert Marker 0.12, Retaining Wall Calculations, Malibu, CA, signed and sealed by a professional engineer in the state of California; (3) a one-page cost comparison(date, preparer, and agency all unidentified) for two alternate pile spacings of six and eight feet; and (4) a revised line item estimate for the repair costs of the damage on Hillside Drive at CM 0.12 (Project RDC0014667) prepared by LADPW and dated October 24, 2006. The total revised cost estimate was $1,095,168. In addition, the Applicant stated that its Road Maintenance staff initially suggested piles on eight-foot centers, however, the design engineers later determined that the wall design with soldier piles spaced at six feet on centers was more cost effective.
We have reviewed all of the information submitted with the appeal and have determined that the Applicant’s request to change the scope of work is adequately supported with one exception. There is no information in the file stating that the guard rail existed before the disaster or that it was based on an existing code or standard. Therefore, I partially approve the request to revise the scope of work. Because the Applicant’s latest cost estimate differs significantly from previous project estimates without explanation, I will not revise the cost estimated at this time. We will reconcile the cost of the approved scope of work during the closeout. By copy of this letter, I request the Regional Administrator to take the appropriate actions to implement this determination.
Please inform the Applicant of my decision. My determination constitutes the final decision on this matter as set forth in 44 CFR §206.206.
Carlos J. Castillo
Disaster Assistance Directorate
cc: Nancy Ward
FEMA Region IX