Winter Weather Delays Road Construction
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
April 22, 2013 6:18 PM
Mother Nature has yet again thrown us all a curve ball. As more snow blankets the Sioux Empire, many road construction projects have been delayed again. And it has city engineers and construction workers alike frustrated with Mother Nature.
“We are always disappointed when the weather is like this. Everyone is always eager to get out and start the construction season and get started on our projects,” said Joshua Peterson, Principle Engineer for Projects and Construction for Sioux Falls.
Peterson said they anticipate this kind of weather for April, so they build in ‘weather days’ for construction projects.
“We’ve got three or four that we've just are working on right now, and another handful that are ready to start as soon as the weather allows,” said Peterson.
And hopefully it does. On Monday, crews were supposed to begin repainting lines at the intersection of 57th Street and Western Avenue to direct traffic. But all that snow delayed the start again.
“And you need to have dry pavement for that to be installed so it will last,” said Peterson.
Construction on Russell Street and Kiwanis Avenue was also put on hold. So was the repaving project on 10th Street downtown.
Now you may have heard the saying there are two seasons, winter and construction. But what happens when old man winter decides he wants to stick around a little longer than usual?
“We aren't doing anything today. We are shut down, and this certainly is a setback for us,” said Greg Branaugh, owner of D & G Concrete Construction.
Branaugh and his crew got a little head start on one of their projects at 26th Street and Highway 11. But those few days now make no difference.
“We expected to be laying gravel and concrete on it, and now, well we aren't even close to that,” said Branaugh.
And that put them three weeks behind. And this isn’t his company’s only project. They are also in charge of the project on 57th Street and Western Avenue.
“Obviously that got pushed back too,” said Branaugh.
Overall Branaugh said he’s a little stressed out and not happy with Mother Nature.
“She tricked us or she got awfully mad at us,” Branaugh said.
Branaugh also said the biggest frustration he has is trying to get workers back to work. He said they were laid off all winter and it’s about time they get working.
City engineers said projects are about a week behind schedule, but it’s OK for now because they are at the beginning of the construction season.