Construction nightmare in Petersburg back on track for completion

Construction nightmare in Petersburg back on track for completion

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A neighborhood drainage project in Petersburg was supposed to be completed within a few months. Two years later - it's still not ready.

The city says money problems got in the way of completing construction on North Park Drive near Crater Road. NBC12 has learned the city will soon have good news for neighbors.

It's a project that will bring much needed drainage improvements to the area, but people who live there never imagined it would take this long.

"The Mayor told me 'this is one of your main tasks' so him and the council basically said 'can you please find funding' which I identified within the first 30 days of my appointment," said Petersburg's new Public Works Director Tangela Innis.

She took over in August and inherited major roadwork that's been a headache for neighbors since 2015.

"You leave from my end, and you do the detour around every day that I have to leave my house, and you'll see what it's like…If I need any kind of emergency services, look at the detour they're taking to get to me," a concerned resident told NBC12 in 2016.

It was only supposed to last a few months, but the city's financial crisis changed that. The contractor walked out, and the work sat vacant for more than a year. The city says unfavorable weather conditions also got in the way. Flash forward to the end of 2017.

"They need to hurry up," said Iesha Lewis who lives in the area.

Petersburg says it now has the $250,000 needed to finish the work. A new contractor resumed construction in October.

"They have come back, and they're here on a consistent basis," said Eric Pride.

They're working towards a new goal.

"Expected completion is the beginning of January 2018," Innis said.

Once the city finishes here, there are other roads that will begin the same type of construction.

"Do you anticipate more hold ups when those begin?" NBC 12 asked.

"I do not…Under the current leadership, we will not get any projects without identifying the funding sources so that we can have a seamless process with our contractors," Innis replied.

NBC12 will keep monitoring this situation and let you know if and when the city reaches its new deadline.

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