Construction Along Highway 169 On Hold

Friday, May 9th 2008, 6:52 pm
By: News On 6

Construction workers are disappearing.  For weeks, they were a common sight on Highway 169. Now, they're gone.  The News On 6's Steve Berg reports there are no orange barrels, no equipment and no workers.  And, all the lanes are open.

The bad news is the road's not done yet.

Linda Davis makes the drive on Highway 169 every morning on her way to work.

"I live near the 31st and Mingo area, so my whole, entire trip is in that area of construction," said Linda Davis.

The orange barrels have gone away, but not the rough pavement.

"You have to dodge all the cracks and holes," said Linda Davis.

So she, like several who have contacted The News On 6, was a little surprised when all the construction cleared out.

"Yeah, I mean because here it was they were gung-ho, everyday working on it, and then all of a sudden, they're gone," said Linda Davis. "And the road is not even close to being finished."

There are still lots of signs that say construction dead ahead, but once you get up to the lanes, there's no construction to be found.  Davis did her own detective work, calling first the mayor's office and then the state department of transportation.

"They called me back and told me that basically they had run out of money in the middle of the contract, because once they took the surface up, they found out it was worse than what they thought it was," said Linda Davis.

An ODOT engineer told The News On 6 that's essentially correct.  They will get supplemental funding from the state and put the project out for bid next month, and pick up where they left off by mid-July.

"We're gonna have it all summer, he said.  It's going to be through the summer before it's finished," said Linda Davis.

The original price tag was $3 million.  ODOT says it will need $1.2 million in supplemental funding.