U.S. Air Force Shell Island Project Has Unexpected Delays

The United States Air Force is working on a project with contractors Commercial Diving International Services (CDIS) to repair and replace an unsafe boardwalk and dock on Shell Island.

The project began on July 31, and was anticipated to only take 30 days. But recently, they've been running into some unexpected complications.

The Managing Member of CDIS, Quentin Pridemore explained that members of the public have been vandalizing and trespassing in the active construction zone, which may be restricting them from finishing their job as quickly as possible.

According to Base officials, civilians are required to have a recreational pass to use this portion of Shell Island. However, Pridemore said people without passes are the ones causing problems.

"They'll tear down signs rght in front of us, I've had two individuals of my staff that have been hit. One of them was a young lady, who was struck in the face. The other individual was hit twice, once in the chest and once in the shoulder," he said.

Pridemore said that these issues happen three to four times daily, and Jillian Kennedy, the Contracting Officer for Tyndall Air Force Base is concerned that it could affect the project's timeline.

"Right now if the contractor continues to have instances out here where he has to stop work in order to handle any sort of issues, he could feasibly request more time on this contract -- so everybody wants to get this done," Kennedy said.

The project is currently an 80,000 dollar project, but if the CDIS needs more time because of these setbacks, it could cost taxpayers even more.

While Tyndall Officials said they do not want to escalate tensions by adding security, they fear they might be running out of options.

CDIS is hoping to finish the project by Labor Day weekend, but they're asking the public to stay away from this section of Shell Island until then.

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