City Commission Approves Closure of Iron St Vault

City Commission Approves Closure of Iron St Vault

At Monday's City Commission meeting, Commissioners considered authorizing the Mayor to sign Resolution 23-8131 for approval of a vault closure agreement for an underground sidewalk vault located at 401 W Iron Ave, as well as authorizing the City Manager to sign an addendum to the City of Salina project number 22009 Storm Sewer Repair construction contract with Smoky Hill, LLC of Salina (Smoky Hill), and approving an additional $30,547.62 (20%) construction contingency for City of Salina project number 22009, Storm Sewer Repair.


Downtown sidewalks have included underground vaults for various reasons throughout the history of Salina. The actual installation or approval history of the sidewalk vaults exceeds the records at the City. One use in the past for the vaults was to provide a chute to allow delivery of coal to the front of the building so it could be used to heat the building. Other vaults were built to allow additional storage in the basement for buildings, or were used to house utilities and the mechanical systems used for heat, power and provide water in the buildings. Some of the existing vaults were used to cover an outside stairway and street access to the basement for that business.

Most of the vaults are vacant or used for minor storage and City staff have determined it is in the City's best interests to remove them to reduce the chance of the sidewalks above the vaults collapsing into the vaults at some time in the future. During the downtown streetscape project, staff offered each vault "owner" the following options for a vault with concrete walls:

  • Retain use of the vault and sign a license agreement with the City of Salina specifying the terms of maintaining a private improvement on public right of way
  • As designed by the downtown streetscape's consultant engineer, allow the City of Salina to construct at the City's expense a concrete wall at the face of the building, fill the void with low­ strength flowable fill or granular material, then replace the sidewalk

A vault with concrete walls at 401 W Iron was recently discovered during construction of the 2022 Storm Sewer Repair project by Smoky Hill. The vault was not being used, and the property owner requested it be filled in.

The vault closure agreement is between the City of Salina and the property owner and was prepared from documents used during the downtown streetscape project. The original agreement and current revisions were reviewed by the City Attorney. In summary the agreement states that:

  • The property owner owns the property and agrees to vacate the property
  • The property owner is indemnified by the contractor for the contractor's actions
  • The property owner is covered by the contractor's general liability insurance regarding the work

The addendum to the contract was also prepared from documents used when vaults were discovered during the downtown streetscape project, which was also built by Smoky Hill. In summary it states that:

  • The contractor indemnifies the property owners for the contractor's actions
  • The owner and its agents, representatives, officers, officials, and employees are express third party beneficiaries of the above indemnification
  • The contractor's general liability insurance covers the property owner regarding the work

The award for this project on December 19, 2022 included a $7,636.91 (5%) construction contingency. More than $5,000 of the original contingency is being utilized to repair additional delaminated curb and gutter at the Lincoln and Reynolds intersection about 90 feet more than anticipated with removal of the adjacent pavement. Smoky Hill has estimated the vault work at $22,000 to $25,000. Staff requests the authorization of an additional $30,547.62 (20%) to cover this unforeseen vault work and other unforeseen that may occur during the completion of the project.


The 2023 Streets Sub-CIP approved by the City Commission on February 6, 2023, included $780,000 of Gas Tax Funds for Streets (Stormwater, Bridges, Railroad, Parking Lots). If this authorization is approved as recommended, the remaining budget in this Sub-CIP line item with be $108,041.84 as shown in the budget attachment. The original 2022 project allocation for this storm sewer repair was $160,375.01 (including the $7,636.91 (5%) construction contingency).

The motion was approved 5-0.

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Salina311.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Salina311.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.