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        Construction delays on South Park Bridge anger local businesses

        Fecha:Nov 16,2012

        As the timeline unravels to replace the South Park Bridge, merchants isolated by the delay are lashing out at the builder, Kiewit Construction.

        Napoli's has served up pizzas in South Park for decades, but ongoing bridge construction down the street is hurting the family-owned business.

        "It's definitely been a struggle," Maria Porco said.

        Porco says they count on loyal patrons to come in and keep them afloat, but the bridge closure cuts out other customers.

        "A lot of the Boeing people can't get here as quickly as they need to," she said.

        Adding to the troubles is an announcement by the contractor Kiewit that the timeline to reopen the span is being pushed back because of work delays.

        Kiewit blames hard clay under the Duwamish River for slowing down excavation of the drawbridge support structures. That will likely drive up the price-tag on the $163 million project.

        It's unclear if Kiewit, or taxpayers, will cover the costs.

        "It has a lot of people nervous about it," said Sonny Andrade. "A lot of people are uneasy about it... and you never get a straight answer."

        The KOMO 4 Problem Solvers broke the news about potential safety and cost issues involving another Kiewit project - the 520 replacement bridge. Internal documents described one engineer's belief that "corners were an attempt to save money, time and meet intense schedule pressures."

        None of it sits well for Andrade, whose dry cleaning business struggles to meet delivery times without the bridge.

        "Somebody gets a bad reputation in building something. You kind of hesitate to use them again," he says.

        When the drawbridge shut down two and a half years ago, the promise was to have it re-opened by September 2013. New estimates push that timeline to early 2014.

        Kiewit could face penalties for the delay, but that's little help to small business owners.

        "We just got to hang on a little bit longer and hopefully people continue to support us," Porco said.

        Categoría: news

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