Inclement weather and unforeseen complications are the main reasons the Downtown Statesboro Streetscape project is slated to finish about 60 days past the original completion date.
According to City Engineer Robert Cheshire, the original end date for the project was May 7. However, 33 days were added to the project due to bad weather days, which included both rain and cold days. During the days in January and February where the temperature was below 40 degrees, the contractor had to postpone work because concrete cannot properly installed or cured at those temperatures.
Assistant City Engineer and Streetscape project manager Brad Deal said 21 days were also added to the project to account for a delay stemming from a city council request to install lighting fixtures that differed from the initial project plans. Instead of the original plan to have Georgia Power install high-intensity street lights which would then be leased to the city for a monthly fee, the Statesboro City Council decided to install low-power consuming LED light fixtures that would be owned by the city.
Councilman Will Britt said the LED lights were not only drastically more efficient on power and would cost less to operate in the long-term but that the lower intensity of the light better suited the overall downtown aesthetic while still providing plenty of light for pedestrians.
“Spend a little money today and then save money every single month on power,” Britt said. “The entire strand of lights probably pulls the equivalent power of one light.”
The change of light fixtures also required the contractor to negotiate with and hire a subcontractor to install the lights, which was something not in the original contract and contributed to the delay.
Deal said he hasn’t heard anything from the contractor that would lead him to believe the project will not be completed by the new June 30 deadline.
“As far as I know, yes. I’ll put it like this: they haven’t told me anything otherwise,” Deal said. “I would suspect they will try to meet that date however they can.”
Should the contractor go over deadline they will suffer a $225 per day late penalty, which will be taken out of their final payment.
Currently, Y-Delta is waiting on a new elevation survey of East Main Street that will tell the contractor which parts of the concrete under East Main Street have to be removed to ensure a proper final elevation of the street. Once the new report is in, crews will remove the necessary sections of concrete, fill in the holes with an aggregate road base, after which the top layer of asphalt from Oak Street to North Main Street can be installed. That work should start sometime next week.
Once the paving on East Main Street is completed, the contractor will begin work installing the four crosswalks at the intersection in front of the Bulloch County Courthouse, which will require traffic to be redirected or diverted around the construction. Since work is being done to a section of state highway, a traffic plan will need to be submitted by the contractor to the Georgia Department of Transportation for approval. Y-Delta is currently putting a traffic plan together.