Reply To: Constant Construction, Inordinate Impact



When would be convenient for you for the city to maintain its roads? Often road work is scheduled to create the least disruption but there are times and project scopes where impact is unavoidable. In these cases mitigation happens but those options are often limited.

Many of the projects have complex scopes that require work beyond the surface and many of the projects that are primarily performed on the surface require extensive prep prior to the final pours of concrete or asphalt. By not performing those preparatory tasks and not pouring when conditions are good leads to repairs on that new work sooner.

Construction bids are made with certain assumptions and based on provided information. If there are issues discovered during that construction it’s possible that a reassessment of the engineering and associated costs may come into play, which is reasonable. Example may be poor soil conditions for soil compaction requiring additives or other solutions, utilities or other underground systems that were unknown due to age or 3rd party installations, etc. It would be very unreasonable to require a contractor to bid work and eat those unanticipated and unforeseen costs, especially on a low bid lump sum basis. That said, when contractors screw the pooch the may be subject to contractual penalties called “liquidated damages”. Often these are pecuniary in nature and are cumulative on a daily basis. In some contracts they are also substantial.

There is a labor shortage. Also, we have an entire generation that believes that physical labor is beneath them. I see it all the time in hiring and work performance. Much of this is due to HS counselors, for the last 20-25 years or so saying that the only options for students is college or the military. Vocational education has been cut, social pressure to get that degree, and no real understanding of the value of the trades and now those chickens are coming home to roost (which is great for my pay). It has also led to a glut in college graduates which has driven down the value of that degree in the job market. This creates a wicked double whammy effect (technical term) of broke young-uns complaining that good paying jobs just don’t exist even though they are literally everywhere if you’re willing to get dirty and, of course, start at the bottom.

So, in short, too much work, too few workers, a shortage in raw materials, and, perhaps, poor planning, leads to this lag in completion which is inconvenient for you. Oh, and that if we don’t repair roads when there are first issues then it leads to larger issues and more expensive and time consuming repairs.