Street lights cause delays in Stanford projects

October 08, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Main Street may look like a war zone now, but Mayor Eddie Carter pledged to have temporary asphalt patches on the road by winter and the entire beautification project finished in 90 days. The new, period streetlights, however, are making it difficult for Carter to keep his promises to City Council.

The streetlights were ordered from Halaphane lighting company whose material shortage at their Mexican assembly plant is being blamed for the most recent delays.

All he hears from them is "promises, promises," said Carter. The light bid was awarded by the state in spring, and ever since the company has broken a long line of promised delivery dates.

Now the city is running out of patience, and the contractor out of time. The project contract with Hil-Don construction company expired Sept. 28. With only seven of the 38 light poles delivered, council members voted Thursday to extend Hil-Don's contract by 90 days. Work on the project had begun in July.


In addition to placing lights, Hil-Don also will be expected to patch the rugged gravel strips now bisecting Main Street. The street was sacrificed to a water main and utility line project, in which all utility lines were buried and antiquated water lines were replaced.

"The streets will be patched. They won't look good, but...." Carter said.

Council member Steve Lucas included in his motion for the contract extension that Hil-Don would have to seal the street with temporary patches before the asphalt plant closed in mid November.

"That's not an unreasonable request," said project engineer Walter Bowman, of MSE Engineering, Lexington.

Lucas joined his fellow council members in voicing frustration at the project delays. It was almost as if the city was cursed when it came to improvement projects.

"We cannot complete a project. I'm not saying it's anybody's fault. We just cannot complete a project. We can't even get street lights in," Lucas said.

Carter stressed that Hil-Don had been working diligently on the project, and was not to be blamed for the delays. He expects 90 percent of the lights would be in by mid November.

Lights aside, Bowman said the streetscape project was going well. Currently, bacteria and pressure tests are being run on the new water lines.

Lucas said though the streetscape project is progressing, Main Street should be before winter weather sets in. "I have no problem with the contractor or the extension. It has nothing to do with his performance. I just want the streets done."

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