Letter to the Editor

Contractor may be to blame for overpass project delay

Saturday, May 9, 2015

EDITOR'S NOTE: A response to this letter to the editor can be found here.

To the editor:

We have an overpass, but no street to it. I am disappointed that the contractor has made no attempt to finish it. Although I am no longer a member of the Arkansas Highway Commission, I am still very interested in its completion.

My feelings are that the contractor knew Mississippi County always had a water problem due to the river. I do not accept this as an excuse, as I watched Nucor build an entire steel plant on the banks of the Mississippi River during flood stages. Of course, being a former member of the Highway Commission does not qualify me as an engineer, but had I not seen it done before, I would not have known.

Here is my opinion. The contractor is dragging his feet to get a better deal. He got the contract and now he is sitting on it. In other words, putting the pressure on the Highway Department. They have about 55 days to complete the contract, and there is no way they can complete it in 55 days. The department has met with them three times trying to settle and has made some concessions and then they come back wanting more. They want more time, more money, and they want contract changes.

They could sit on the contract for 55 days, do nothing, and where will the city be? They could have been working while they were meeting with the department, if they had any intent to finish the job. Therefore, I do not feel that this contractor has any intent to finish this contract. If the contract goes into default, the same process will start over and we could be another two years to completion.

I would hope that the department would not consider them for contracts in the future. The Highway Department has done about all they can do. The rest is up to the contractor.

John Ed Regenold