RALEIGH, N.C. — Construction is at a standstill to widen Atlantic Avenue and make the busy road through midtown Raleigh safer for people to get around.
A city staff memo to the Raleigh City Council said the Goldsboro-based contractor, J-Smith Civil, abandoned the project, “performing minimal work since January.”
“It’s an eyesore,” said Hope Moore, who regularly drives through Atlantic Avenue to visit her son.
Moore’s son lives in a home that has had construction fencing cutting through the front yard for the last year and a half.
WRAL News asked Moore if she noticed that the construction company wasn’t making progress near her son’s home.
“Oh, yeah. I’ve been noticing that all summer,” Moore said. “I thought maybe they’re doing it in the evening when it’s cooler, but we haven’t seen anything in quite a while.”
The work should be about three-quarters of the way done, and it’s only 20% complete.
On Tuesday, WRAL News reached out to J-Smith Civil President Jeremy Smith several times but did not hear back.
The city’s memo said there is justification for terminating the contract with J-Smith Civil for its “failure to maintain adequate manpower and to adhere to the Project progress schedule.”
The city declined WRAL News’ request for an interview on Tuesday.
“The City is deeply concerned about the lack of progress on the Atlantic Avenue widening project and has expressed its concerns to the general contractor, J-Smith Civil, and the contractor’s bonding company, Westfield,” the statement reads. “The City is currently in discussions with the contractor and the bonding company to determine how and when the project will be completed.
“While a revised timetable for completing the project has yet to be established, City officials are working diligently to arrange for completion of the work as soon as possible. As the City continues its discussions with J-Smith Civil and Westfield, it will continue to monitor site conditions to ensure the corridor is safe for everyone, including drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and nearby landowners.”
WRAL News asked Moore if she thinks the city should have done something sooner.
“The city should have known what was going on the whole time,” Moore said.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said J-Smith Civil has three contracts for road projects with the state. It includes the widening of North William Street in Goldsboro. A state spokesperson said the company stopped working on all those projects as well.