Councilmembers receive ‘troubling’ info on road project

  • Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Photos by Stefan Rogenmoser/Journal Scene From left: Dorchester County Councilmembers Carol Duncan, Jay Byars and David Chinnis hold a press conference Monday near the intersection of Dorchester and Bacons Bridge roads.

Photos

Two Dorchester County Councilmembers want answers from a contractor working on the Dorchester Road expansion.

The project is more than six months behind schedule after a section had to be resurfaced due to a faulty mix on the road base.

Dorchester County Councilmen Jay Byars and David Chinnis gave a press conference Monday morning near the intersection of Dorchester and Bacons Bridge roads to address their concerns with contractor L&L.

They said they received what Chinnis called “troubling information.”

The contractor used faulty mix for the road bed that didn’t cure properly in Phase I and had to be redone. They used the same mix for parts of Phase II, according to information the councilmembers received.

“We’ve heard new information that makes us believe the work on Phase II may be just as faulty as the work on Phase I — only, it’ll take longer for the road bed to fail,” Chinnis said. “We’re very concerned because it is not fair to the residents of Dorchester County.

“Dorchester Road is a key component of this county. Our residents travel this road daily. It’s far too vital to us to let it continue going the way it’s gone.”

Chinnis added he wants the problem fixed immediately and does not want a Band-Aid.

“We can’t sit back anymore and hope there will be an answer,” Chinnis said. “We need to know up front. We want it fixed now. We want it done right the first time.”

Byars laid out a plan of action. They have three requests.

First, they want Davis & Floyd to identify and fix any additional road bed they believe to be faulty or below contractual standards.

Second, they want to require the contractors to provide weekly online public updates outlining the road work to be done on Dorchester Road every day of the week.

Third, they want to instruct the county attorney to review all Davis & Floyd (the project management company) contracts with a particular emphasis on proprietary rights for work conducted under the additional services contract.

“Our patience has run out as we have had days of sunshine, yet no work being done,” Byars said. “We expect the contractors to be doing work every single day, including weekends, until this road is finished. And they should be required to report publicly what work is planned so we can hold them accountable.”

Chinnis said some weather delays were understandable with the heavy rainfall last year, but the paver base issue is his main concern.

“It is well past time of getting this road done,” Byars said. “This project was supposed to be done last November. Right now we don’t have a timeline.

“People need routine updates. We should be posting that information to the county website. Residents should be able to access that on the web.”

“The excuses have to stop,” Chinnis said. “Give me some facts.”

“We’re not interested in assigning blame,” Byars said. “We’re interested in getting it done.”

Byars said the current road contract is $24 million.

Both councilmen, Republicans, will face opposition in the coming June 10 primary. Byars is opposed by Lester Dempsey, and Chinnis is opposed by Scott Inabinet.

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