City officials provide updates on 52nd street construction project

City officials provide updates on 52nd street construction project

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Community members questioned delays in completion of the 52nd street construction project during a meeting hosted by Lawton Councilman Caleb Davis.

They also heard new projected completion dates from the city engineer and superintendent for the construction company.

Barring any more delays, the superintendent of T & G construction said the project will be completed by the beginning of September.

At a future city council meeting, City Engineer George Hennessey will suggest the council set the completion date for July 1st, and if approved, any day after July 1 will cost T&G 300 dollars a day in liquidated damages.

With the project now close to 6 months behind, one man living near 52nd street said it’s time for them to wrap it up.

“It seems to be taking an excessive amount of time, moving terribly slow. I understand that they are trying to keep the roads open while doing construction, but it doesn’t seem very well thought out,” said Gregory Shawn, who lives just off 52nd.

Councilman Caleb Davis said the council doesn’t have any authority over the project being completed but the meeting tonight gave him a chance to hear some feedback from his constituents.

“I’ve received several complaints from constituents in that area, about people speeding and cutting through traffic, why hasn’t the police monitored it more, the road hasn’t been kept up by the contractor, and for two months it seemed like the contractor didn’t show up at all. They want answers,” said Davis.

Davis said because of the high number of complaints regarding 52nd street, he invited the contractor, Mike Fletcher with T & G construction in to address community concerns.

“When you talk about road construction, anyone that says they haven’t been angry or upset over construction is probably not being honest. If someone gets upset, we don’t like that. But there’s nothing we can do about it," said Fletcher.

Fletcher said when they took on the project they believed it was doable in the original time frame, but 170 delay days have caused the deadline to come and go.

“When we signed on we knew it was going to be a difficult project, with the storm drain and utility work that had to be done before the roadwork even got started. We knew we were going to be under the gun, and we’ve been happy with it,” said Fletcher.

Shawn said his frustration has changed to confusion as he watches them push the deadline back.

“It should’ve been done in phases that were manageable for both construction and traffic. I’m sure city hall didn’t take this long to the repair the two streets up there.”

The meeting gave city engineer George Hennessee a chance to address some of the actual progress, and he said a lot of the work is nearly done, but the actual roadways and sidewalks are still less than 50 percent completed.

The original project also suggested 5 lanes, but that is now down to 3.

Hennessee said they will get to the extra 2 lanes at a later date which is unknown at this point.

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