Recent rains have put a damper on road work

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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- As of May 12, this year has been off to the wettest start on record.

This month alone, Columbus has seen almost six inches of rain. And that has put a damper on road work and construction.

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Heavy rains, floods and tornadoes have all taken a toll on roads and bridges.

Construction crews are doing their best to repair the old and build the new, but Mother Nature has been against them.

“The rain has just been horrible, and it’s been difficult to deal with,” said Gregory Construction Director of Operation Justin Harris.

Harris said some weeks they’re only getting in one or two days of work.

“Well operationally speaking, if you’re not working, you’re not completing the job. If you’re not completing your job, you’re not able to build, You’re not able to bill against your contracting and things don’t go as well as they should. So, you typically see an erosion of margin on the projects,” said Harris.

When rain is in the forecast, crews do what they can to get ready.

“If we see the weather coming up, obviously we’ll try to mitigate that through changing our schedule a bit to maybe work some increased hours before the rain comes in to get us to a certain situation that makes sense, or we have to mitigate it after the fact. But we’d like to try to plan as much ahead of time so that we can get as much work in as possible prior to the rain,” said Harris.

Even with all that planning, sometimes it’s back to square one.

“You have a lot of redo work which is a killer for productivity for making money you don’t want to have to do things twice,” said Harris.

Concrete and steel can only last so long, and the recent weather isn’t helping aging roads and bridges.

“When you have an inclement weather event, that a lot of times does affect that infrastructure, for instance, here in Columbus Plymouth Road incident that we had the road washed out and we weren’t involved in that project, but luckily the city was able to get onto it very quickly. But I think you’ll see more and more of that as our infrastructure ages and you continue to have weather events,” said Harris.

When the rain finally does stop, crews still have to wait for things to dry out.

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