Construction still a headache - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Construction still a headache

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June 24, 2006

Albany - - Detours and closed roads have become a headache for people traveling on 3rd avenue and Jackson Street. Many people who live and work in the area are getting disgruntled about construction that seems to be just dragging on.

When they moved into their home 6 months ago, they didn't expect this.

"Before they covered the hole up, they'd leave the hole open on the weekend and the sewage would pack up and it was awful. The smell, it was awful," says Sherman Lester.

They moved in at the beginning of a construction project on Jackson Street designed to better manage the city's storm water and prevent sewage from spilling into neighborhoods.

The construction project has become a living nightmare for families who saw it work its way up from 3rd avenue and slowly come in front of their homes.

"Some tractor trailer trucks come through flying and there be so much dust there you can't see the truck no more," Lester says.

The dust creeps its way into their home.

"My couches was full of dust. My floors, I put some carpet down because the dust was coming in so much. Waxing it didn't do no good. All over my curtains was so dusty," says Betty Benyard.

The trucks are still passing by. So what's the delay?

"They were held up on Jackson St. for 6 months due to some soil conditions and pipe conditions we had to go back and redo some pipe work from some existing lines," says Mike Tally with the city's engineering department.

He says the city hasn't had too many major projects like this and it just takes time. And patience -- something this family has plenty of. Because at this point, what else can you do?

"Nothing just sit here and take it because I've tried everything. I've tried calling different peoples, it didn't do me any good," Benyard says.

But wait... for the day gravel, road barrels, and dust will fade away from their daily view.

"I had no idea it would be this long, no idea," says Lester.

Talley says despite the delay on Jackson Street, the construction project is still on schedule. The city hopes to have Jackson Street paved and re-opened within a month. Then the construction will move to Monroe and 2nd Ave for 1 to 2 months. The total project is expected to be finished in December.

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