As the project lurched along, the district asked Hedges — the engineer initially expected to cost $12,500 — to assume a larger management role. "This kind of was the job from hell," Hedges says. His firm's work expanded, week after week, and the district kept approving his invoices, month after month.
In the end, his firm racked up 592 hours — all to design and coordinate the move, not execute it. Hedges' invoices listed the services of one person after another: principal engineer ($173.39 an hour); project engineer ($101.37 an hour); accountant ($83.95 an hour); party chief ($80.60 an hour, and not what it sounds like — a party chief runs a survey crew); and chain man ($46.50 an hour). This is a partial list. Throw in the 1,748 miles (59 cents per mile), the 5,160 black-and-white photocopies, the 898 color copies and assorted other expenses, and Hedges' total bill came to $68,558.