Infrastructure Project Delays

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 29 July 2015 04:00

Editor,
Schedules for our infrastructure projects are not being met and extensions are being given by your Town Manager to complete this project. Your Manager, Mayor and Council are not controlling this nonsense by failing to use the only option we have which is penalties.
Our elected leaders in Carolina Beach and the Manager have not shown very much concern until recently about missed schedules. Extensions and excuses are accepted and now Mayor Wilcox and Councilman Shuttleworth are publicly upset because this problem has escalated with more complaints. Your Mayor and Council are apparently eager to listen to residents complaints now because it is election time and these two are seeking reelection.
Anybody using even half good sense would require penalties for not meeting schedules that have tremendously and constantly inconvenienced residents on a contract worth 8 million dollars.
Not doing so tells you just how much concern this Council and Manager has for our residents that have had to put up with the messes that missed schedules have created. It is the responsibility of construction companies to work out their problems and not be late on completing projects. They know they are in danger of facing penalties. Apparently they do not care.
The blame should be put squarely on your Manager, Mayor and Council's shoulders for granting extension after extension and not using penalties to control this situation. You can bet your bippy that construction companies have built themselves extra time into contracts to keep from receiving penalties. This problem is not ours to fix but the folks that are to receive approx. 8 million dollars which a main factor is to live up to their contract. When Clarendon Blvd was being torn up for infrastructure reasons your Manager, Mayor and Council were informed numerous times that cables were being cut daily and by a couple dozen before completion and this Council, your Mayor and Manager went on their merry way unconcerned.
Your Manager and our Mayor also expressed that cut cables were normal.
N.C. Law 811 that deals with digging says cut cables is not normal and if this procedure is followed there is only a 1% chance of cutting cables. Yet it was expressed as being normal and cables were constantly being cut on Clarendon Blvd. We are now facing a problem that has not been mentioned publicly on paving projects at Carolina Beach that being  2" thick asphalt  being the norm for paving our streets.    
Before those sworn to represent us pay for the paving of Clarendon, Cape Fear Blvd and 5th street with its 2" thick asphalt I suggest they ride these streets and make an assessment for themselves as too whether we have and are receiving quality paving on the our streets and will it last.    
Novembers election will be a factor in determining if our money was spent or not spent wisely on continuing the paving of our streets with only 2" thick asphalt as a standard.
Carolina Beach Ave. North, Canal Drive and 7th Street Harper Avenue to Town Hall more resemble roller Coasters than streets and are the reason I am concerned about the finished product of paving more streets under the same 2" standard of these paving projects.
I do not profess to having more than half good sense and a second grade education but I know quality when I see it and it is not in the present paving of Cape Fear to 3rd street, Clarendon to Dow Road, 5th Street from Atlanta to Charlotte Ave. Harper Ave from 7th street to Town Hall.
Clarendon Blvd. constantly has large heavy trucks going to and from the school when in session, heavy garbage trucks weekly, food trucks during school sessions, furniture trucks occasionally and school buses loaded with children when school is in session. To put no more asphalt than 2" thick on our streets is a recipe for failure and additional money  will need to be spent prematurely. Common sense will tell anyone that 2" of asphalt will not hold up on Clarendon, Cape Fear or any highly traveled street in C.B regardless of what has been said about 2" of asphalt being sufficient.
Paving on our streets is not going to last and needs to be assessed by an engineer before checks are written and any more streets are paved in Carolina Beach by our present paving contractor using 2" thick asphalt as a standard thickness.       
Ask your self if bicycle paths whose recommended paved thickness is only 2" will need repaving every 7 years according to a Town of Carolina Beach expert in charge. Good sense should dictate that highly traveled streets anywhere would need thicker asphalt or paving projects are not going to last.
D.A. Lewis,
Carolina Beach, NC

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