Maintenance Engineers is a small business with four employees about a block from a long overdue city road project.
"It affects my business. My employee wants to run to the store and it is a two-minute trip this way, a five-minute trip around the light and back which costs me money," said Wyatt Odom.
Odom owns the business and wants to know when the city will complete this road improvement project. "After 18 months, I think it is time," he said.
ON YOUR SIDE
The project is in the middle of Broadway Avenue on Jacksonville's Westside. Odom's business is at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Canal Street, not directly in front of the work, but close enough.
"I've got a problem. They start on it, quit on it. I never see any work going on," he added.
The crews working on the project today weren't saying much. A crew member, who did not identify himself, said they were installing culverts and sidewalks. When asked why it is taking so long, he had no explanation.
"I've called the city and had some response. They promised it would be done in a month or so; nothing happens," said Odom.
Odom said he's tired of the promises and he would like City Hall to get it done so his business can get back to normal.
"I'd like the job finished and save my tax dollars," he said.
The project would normally take three months, but city spokesperson Jennifer Savage said there have been a number of delays.
The project is expected to be complete in the next six months. She said in an email:
In early 2010, one of two culverts along Broadway and Canal failed and design for repairs began. Construction was to start in August 2010; however, in the time between design and the scheduled start of construction, the second culvert failed. Since the original design called to use the one functioning culvert as a bypass while the failed culvert was replaced, the planned method of construction had to be revised so that both culverts could be replaced at the same time. Construction under the revised plan began at the end of October 2010.
Unfortunately, several unforeseen conditions further delayed the project. Utilities were not located as indicated on plans, resulting in having to shift the location of the culverts by six feet. Winter and spring heavy rain events also caused delays as they led to flooding, wash outs and subsequent time to dewater the site. Each time the site filled with water, it would take several days to a week to remove the water and allow it to dry so that work could continue. It was also determined that the groundwater gathering on the site after these heavy rains could not be discharged into McCoy's Creek as originally planned. This was also an unexpected condition and further time was needed to arrange for the water to be pumped into a JEA sanitary sewer.
Today, both culverts are properly installed and functioning. The remaining work on the project involves removing sediments from down and upstream and then reconstructing the road. Full completion is expected in the next six months.