Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Local Construction

This is a personal, local gripe, so feel free to ignore it. The street by where I live has been undergoing reconstruction for over a month, and today's news reports that the project will take longer than originally planned.

A project to resurface one of the city's oldest streets in Flagstaff is now behind schedule after it was discovered that the road was shallower than first believed.

The much-anticipated project was supposed to be the centerpiece of an effort to rebuild the main streets in the Southside neighborhood -- an area residents and business owners say has been neglected in the shadow of downtown Flagstaff north of the tracks.

Instead, contractors hired by the city discovered portions of South San Francisco were shallower than core samples had indicated, forcing what had been a simple resurfacing project into a complete reconstruction of the entire street.

This has pushed back the project's completion date several weeks -- now slated for near completion in November -- and forced the city to tap a cost-overruns provision in its contract with local contractors.

The project was set to cost $1.28 million, but the contract had an additional $130,000 set aside for unforeseen contingencies.


Having San Francisco torn up is a major inconvenience for me, as it's the main route into downtown from my apartment. Never mind the noise of the construction; I can deal with that. But walking in the neighborhood is either hazardous or impossible from one day to the next.

Project Manager Christine Cameron said records on the street are not complete, but the city has resurfaced the street at least several times since the 1950s.

But adding new layers of asphalt over the existing road made some areas thicker than others.

Several 8-inch cores samples taken of the road suggested some portions of the road were at least 14 inches thick, but in reality several portions of the road were only 6 inches deep.

Cameron said the city also discovered other problems after tearing up the west half of San Francisco.

"We are finding things that haven't been touched since the 1930s," Cameron said. The city has begun work on the eastern half of the road, but most of that construction will start after the west side has been completed.

The project area extends from Route 66 to Butler Avenue.

Construction will include new street asphalt, sidewalk, curb/gutter, lighting, benches, trash receptacles, bicycle racks and landscaping/irrigation.

The city employee said she has been working closely with business owners to mitigate any problems the construction causes.


Actually, I will be quite happy once the project is completed. The southside has desperately needed revitalization for decades, and neighborhood business will benefit in the long run. This part of town was rather run down (some even considered it a scary "bad" part of town), and it will be much nicer once done.

But it's a major pain in the gluts right now.


Mauigirl said...

Have patience my friend. Sooner or later it will be finished. Unlike our downtown which is still in shambles from failed redevelopment efforts for the past 10 years!

urland said...

I've been around long enough to remember when they did the north side of downtown. There they tore up the entire street instead of one side at a time. In fact they had more than one street at a time torn up if memory serves. It certainly didn't take them nearly as long as it's taking for this crew. Probably the city had more money for the first project than the current one.

Suzanne said...

yikes! at least they are finally fixing things that haven't been touched since the 30's.