Editorial: No More Extensions For Cape Fear Blvd Project

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 15 July 2015 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council voiced concerns over the lack of progress for the ongoing Phase 1A infrastructure project. (See report on page 1-A) Residents and business owners have been complaining to elected leaders that some days there is no work performed. Their street has been torn up for months and they are getting tired of the dust, rocks and dirt.
The contractor received an 88 day extension on their contract in March. They recently asked for another extension that would run until October of this year. They cited various reasons for the delay including weather and unforeseen items that popped up during the project. For example, discovering unknown water lines or finding collapsed storm water lines.
The Council informed Town Manager Michael Cramer they want the contractor to get creative and come back with a solution to expedite the project.
Mayor Dan Wilcox and Councilman Steve Shuttleworth were critical of the contractor. Wilcox was correct when he said crews would sometimes not be present at the job site on Cape Fear Blvd or would show up and do little or no work. That's true. Since last spring there have been many days when equipment was sitting still with a handful of workers basically waiting around for something to do. Even on some sunny days work would be at a standstill or there would be no one in sight. The contractor presented a long list of work performed outside of the original scope of the contract. I'm sure they're not doing that extra work for free. In granting this most recent extension, the Town should add a clause saying that's the last extension. After that, $500 per day penalty and you're seriously impacting your chances of being awarded contracts for future projects. The contractor could work 10 hour days, on weekends, and bring in additional crew. I've seen them work in the rain when rushing to meet an earlier deadline, so I know weather isn't always an obstacle. And no one is speaking critically about the workers, their production is based on their leadership. The Captain of the Ship. Their boss.

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