City of Tulsa, Road Contractor Fight Over Fine

Tuesday, April 21st 2009, 6:28 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News on 6

TULSA, OK -- A road contractor and the City of Tulsa are fighting over an $80,000 fine. It's what Becco Construction could be penalized for taking longer than planned to rebuild parts of Utica Avenue and 36th Street, a job that was supposed to be done in March.

On Utica Avenue, south of 36th Street, the street looks like it's ready for traffic. It's a big improvement from over a week ago when drivers were going around dump trucks on the busy street.

Just around the corner on 36th, the street is still a mess, even though both jobs were supposed to be done by now.

Last week, Becco Construction blamed the city for holding them back, but the city claimed Becco just didn't have enough people on the job.

4/14/2009  Related Story: Deadline Dispute Between City Of Tulsa, Contractor

"We're the largest contractor in Tulsa. We could work on all these areas at the same time if the city would let us, but they want to limit the exposure to the traveling public and that's what's happening here," said Kyle Wilson of Becco Construction.

The delayed road work is on 36th Street from Lewis to Utica and on Utica from 31st to 41st.

The contract for the job included a $1,000 a day penalty if it wasn't done on time, setting up a possible $80,000 dollar penalty because Becco is running two months behind.

The city is looking into what caused the delay and might waive the penalty.

If it actually took them longer to do the job than their due time that's fine, we'll do that, but it needs to be shown that really was the impact and it wasn't other issues," said Paul Zachary, City of Tulsa.

The city council and the public works department want the issues resolved for the projects on 36th and on Utica. That's because another big project is coming up soon. On Lewis, Becco will be rebuilding the street from 31st to 41st.

"We've got them stacked up, so we need to get this work done because it is pushing other projects back," said Zachary.

The new timeline submitted by Becco indicates they'll have work done on Utica Ave and 36th Street by May 31st.

Only then will the real talks begin on how long the job should have taken and how much, if anything, the city should penalize Becco for the delay.

It's ultimately up to the city council and mayor to make the decision.