WARSAW — A rainy spring not only stunted the planting of farm crops this year, but it has also slowed progress on several public works projects.
In a year in which the city of Warsaw is juggling several major road projects, construction crews have faced a large number of rainy days, including a two week stretch in May in which there was some level of rain each day, according to the National Weather Service.
So far this year, according to city Plan Director Jeremy Skinner:
- Inclement weather has slowed down the East Market Street reconstruction project, which was originally expected to wrap up by the end of October.
- Work on the reconstruction of part of CR 300N and the corresponding construction of a roundabout at Sheldon Street has not even begun yet.
- Extending sewer service into parts of the Airport Industrial Park in Warsaw has also been slowed and the contractor is tracking “rain days” in case they need to have the contract extended.
Much of Northern Indiana and the Midwest have seen an uncommonly rainy season, especially in May when nearby communities saw a record-setting number of days with some level of precipitation.
Kosciusko County saw a small amount of rain over the weekend. Another chance of rain is possible today, June 24, and Tuesday, according to the weather service.
“It’s kind of getting ridiculous at this point,” Skinner said.
Skinner was asked if this year stands out as one of the worst weather-related work seasons in the more than dozen years he’s worked with the city.
“Seems like it, but it could just be that we have so many projects going on,” he said.
Skinner said contractors often have projects to finish before moving to the next one. That appears to be the case for Phend & Brown’s work on CR 300N.
“I expect them to start sometime this year,” Skinner said.
Skinner said he believes Market Street can still be finished this year, but minor aspects like striping, which is weather-dependent, might be delayed until next spring.
A final top coat of pavement is one of the final steps in the process, he said.
The city’s ongoing construction of a new wastewater treatment plant has also seen a slowdown. The project is slated to be completed by the fall of 2020. Brian Davison, utility manager who is overseeing the work for the city, said the project has lost about six to ten days of work because of the rain.
Other than the disappointment of the slow progress, Skinner said there is no negative financial impact on the city as a result of the delays. The contractors could potentially face fines for not making the deadline, but that’s the reason their track and file delays caused by rain, Skinner said.