Sunday, February 9, 2003

Boone falls behind on construction


Wet, cold winter blamed for delays

By Gina Holt
Enquirer contributor

BURLINGTON - The unusually wet winter has washed away many construction deadlines.

The new Boone County Law Enforcement Center, the jail, water projects and road construction have all been delayed due to weather.

"It hasn't been a good construction year," said Robin Curry, contracts administrator for the county. "This winter has cost us a lot of time."

The jail is expected to open in the summer of 2004, and the law enforcement building should open in the spring of 2004.

"There have been several weather factors that have really slowed us down out there," Mr. Curry said about the two projects being built on Conrad Lane. "In October, we had so much rain it caused problems with compaction. The ground was too muddy to work in. We're about 60 days behind schedule on those two projects."

He said the weather has also contributed to delays on the rural water project. Water pipes are being laid in phases to bring city water to rural Boone County.

"We've really been slowed by the wet weather and then the freeze. We expect Phase 1 (Big Bone Road, Rice Pike, Bulletsville Road and part of Ky. 20) to be done by summer. I think we would have been finished in early spring, but this pushed us into June."

The excavation work at the Giles Conrad Park project on Ky. 8 has been delayed due to weather.

"The Hopeful-Mall Road connector has been held up," Mr. Curry said, adding that it was supposed to open in November. "It was so wet, we couldn't finish it. We'll finish it as soon as the weather breaks."

The road had to be stabilized until work could begin again this spring. Construction will resume as soon as the asphalt plants open in March, once the temperature is averaging 50 degrees. He expects the project to be complete within 60 days of construction beginning.

He said the weather would not delay the March 3 move-in date at the new justice center. The facility was far enough along that crews were able to work indoors on snowy, cold days.

"Things like parking lot striping and landscaping haven't been getting done," said Mr. Curry. "There are a few things that will have to wait until warmer weather, like the final coat of asphalt on the parking lot."

Peter Glenn, project manager for Florence, said the weather has not affected the Florence Skate Park or Aquatic Center as much as expected.

"The schedule included a certain amount of bad weather dates," he said.

The weather hasn't affected the skate park, which is scheduled to open this spring, because an underground drain system was built allowing water to run off. All of the concrete work has been done under heated tents.

"The aquatic center has been a little more affected But as for time, no extension has been asked for," Mr. Glenn said. "The aquatic center is still scheduled to open Memorial Day."

Mr. Curry hopes the spring will bring good weather and projects won't continue to be delayed.

"You never know what April is going to bring," he said. "It could be a great month, but it could be as wet as October was. We're at the mercy of the weather."




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