Jenks Avenue Expansion Project Delayed

Panama City, Fla. - A project meant to alleviate traffic is instead making it a pain. The Jenks Avenue expansion was set to be completed this past June but has run into a road block.

In July of 2016, construction to expand Jenks Avenue from two lanes to five began. Unfortunately, what was estimated to only be a year long project will now be extended into 2018. 

"It's a terrible impact to residents and we feel a lot of sympathy and some guilt putting them through this but on the other hand, I don't know another way through this right now " said Panama City Public Works Director, Neil Fravel.

Construction has been an inconvenience, especially to homeowners and businesses in the area and that's not changing anytime soon. Almost two and a half years ago, contractors met with utility companies to ensure cables that interfere with the project would be removed, but those lines remain in the way of project completion.

"We built a storm water pond there nut we can't make the final connection for the drainage system into that pond because there's an underground AT&T cable that we've gone as far as we can without having to cut it" said Fravel.

Not only has the AT&T line delayed the project but has the potential to raise the cost of the entire expansion. "Now we're talking with our city attorney about how we take some of these costs and possibly place them on the utility company because of their failure to react" said Fravel. 

The Jenks expansion was originally estimated to cost $5 million dollars. City officials hope they don't have to pay for any additional costs due to the delay. 

Right now it is unknown when exactly the expansion will be finished but city officials say that even if AT&T came and removed that line right now, the road work still would not be completed until next February or March at the earliest. 

 

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