Problems Plague Public Works Contractor

May 23, 2016

Problems Plague Public Works Contractor. yet, after 10 years on the job, you'd think CH2M Hill (City's Public Works Contractor) would have to manage the traffic lights down pat.


JCHS students waiting to cross 141. Will it ever be safe?

Safety issues for students and drivers have plagued St Ives & Medlock Bridge Subdivisions since Johns Creek High School opened in 2009.

Traffic lights are not synced in a way to allow drivers to not only exit to have ample room to pull into the lanes and not idle in the "Box". Drivers from both neighborhoods often get a green light only when there is no room to turn onto 141 South.

There is nothing worse than being at a green light and not able to go. Cycle after light cycle, there is still no room to go.

So what happens is Cars and Buses pull out in whatever space they can find on the Southbound lane and block the traffic from all other sides.


Traffic Lights out of Sync put School Buses in danger

Complaints after complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The Department of Public Works has stated on more than one occasion during City Council Meetings that when they become aware of a safety issue, they must address it, or the City could be liable in the future if something happens.  This has been the justification for more than one traffic circle in Johns Creek, as well as the ongoing debate with Barnwell and Niblick Roads.

The City of Johns Creek has heard about these safety issues at 141 and Grove Point Road.  So why are they choosing NOT to do anything?

Is there a conflict of interest within the Public Works Department? The same company that is tasked with the traffic lights also profits from the additional road construction we are told is the solution to the poorly timed lights.

With the TSPLOST, CH2M Hill is to charge a 5% Project Management fee, which equates to almost $ 4million. This is in addition to their contract of approx $5million per year.

Quite possibly, for the very same road projects the Department of Public Works were going oversee in Johns Creek anyway because these projects are now "TSPLOST" projects, CH2MHill is set to collect a windfall of $4 million.

This contract has NEVER been put out to bid and is renewed annually. The City does not even know the true cost of what it is we are receiving.

Cost Savings could be put toward paving, sidewalks, etc.

Historically, CH2Mhill dramatically slash their costs when their contracts are rebid elsewhere. They surely won't pack their toys and go home. CH2M Hill will be the first company to submit a bid!

For the second year in a row, we've been told there is not enough time for our City Staff to put together an RFP. Poking around other municipalities presents a different case. The City of Brookhaven put out an RFP for similar services Johns Creek utilizes and closed the bidding 2 weeks later. Vendors were selected weeks later, all before the start of the contract with 6 weeks to go.

Below are some charts of examples of workload in Brookhaven's RFP.


Brookhaven does an excellent job keeping track of Code Enforcement.



Brookhaven's Public Works


There could also be a conflict with the City Manager's desire to possibly replace one current vendor with another because it will require additional work on behalf of City Staff to transition from one contractor to another.  So there is that incentive to stay with what we have, even if it costs millions more in expenses to the taxpayers.

There are many experts and professionals in the area. To ignore RFP's and the process is a disservice to the taxpayers and residents.

Request for Proposals is a fair and transparent way of soliciting competitive bids and is even required by Government.

What do you think of the Problems Plague Public Works Contractor?

Would you like to see another company manage the traffic lights?

Tonight is the deadline to either renew CH2M Hill or give staff the directive to send it out to bid.

Leave a comment below or let City Council know [email protected]

Source: City of Brookhaven


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 comments on “Problems Plague Public Works Contractor”

  1. All the major intersections in johns creek are dysfunctional.

    Going east on State bridge rd is abhorrent.

    Once you leave JC the traffic only gets better.

  2. I wouldn't mind a different vendor to do the traffic lights. If anything, the next guy can't be worse then what we got now.

    1. If the vendor takes his or her orders from the same people in Public Works it, will not matter.

      I drove today to Marietta and back, during non rush hours. There were 31 lights on the way to my destination. I caught 13 of 31 green... or 42%.

      On the way back, I came a slightly different way and caught 16 of 38 green, or 42% again.

      There is absolutely no reason why, if you are on a major road such as 120, State Bridge Road, or 141, that you catch the majority of lights red.

      That is a failure of the DOT(local and state)to maximize the throughput on major arterial roads.

  3. State bridge & 141 need over pass/under pass like Pleasant Hills and Buford HWY. There is other way around this problem; just too many vehicles.

  4. The primary reason CH has done almost nothing about our traffic engineering is they are lightweights in this area. Most of their transportation capabilities are on the west coast, and to fly them in would hurt their profit margins, so we'll just have to continue suffering watching our citizens/children getting severely injured in car accidents.

    Clayton County removed them from their SPLOST program after they discovered CH had been paid for projects that were not completed. CH is a solid water/wastewater/environmental firm, but less than average in transportation. Sandy Springs figured this out as well and removed them. Ten years without a rebid and staff claiming there is not enough time to put out an RFP is pure HOGWASH.

    If our government doesn't truly understand if we getting a good value from CH, then they should issue an RFP right now to commission an audit on this firm. Los Angeles PW did this and the audit concluded CH had overbilled the City around $4.5 million. The City sued CH for $13.5 million, plus punitive damages claiming fraud, breach of contract, and negligent representation. I get an extremely queasy feeling about this contract, and my gut is rarely wrong..

  • magnifier