The temperature is in the mid-80s, it’s not raining, so one might think today would be a good day for construction companies to ramp up work on Project 180 streets downtown, right?
Sadly, those who own businesses or have to get around downtown know that it’s rare that one sees more than a couple of guys working on a street at any given time. After hearing continued complaints about the lack of “seriousness” taken by contractors in finishing work on downtown’s streets, I took a drive and took my own survey.
On one job site I saw more than 40 guys busy at work, completing a plaza area. Oh wait. That was on the Devon Energy Center/Colcord Hotel plaza and those crews were hired by Devon, not by the city.
Hudson Avenue, Main Street, Walker Avenue, Colcord Drive, Sheridan Avenue and Broadway are all torn up. I counted 16 guys – total – spread out among these different job sites. On Broadway I saw just two guys “on the job” in front of the Cox Convention Center. For 10 minutes I watched a guy on a backhoe talking to a guy in a ditch. They talked. And talked. And they didn’t seem to be doing anything else.
Consider that only a couple of guys were to be seen working on Main Street at Walker Avenue, which was supposed to be done in autumn of 2011. They’re still not done, even though the reasoning for the delays – a basement problem at 420 W Main – was supposedly addressed and fixed months ago.
I suppose City Hall has an answer for all of this. And I seriously doubt the fed up merchants – and those who have already lost their businesses due to Project 180 – are in the mood for any more excuses.