Highway 17 Project Misses Third Deadline; 19% Over Budget

There is yet another delay for a major highway expansion project here in the East that has been under construction for more than three years.

Lane shifts and road closures have been the norm for Beaufort County residents who use Highway 17 south of Chocowinity. Roberson Contracting Company has been working on turning four miles of the highway into four lanes since February 2008. Now the DOT tells WITN News the work won't be completed until July 4th.

The $12.8 million project was originally scheduled to be finished September 1st. But the DOT said unforeseen problems and weather delays first pushed the completion date to December 15th, and then to the end of May. Thursday they said the contractor wouldn't finish the job until Independence Day.

In the past residents complained they had seen little or sometimes no work done on the project. According to the DOT web site the project is nearly 19% over budget and is 91% finished.

A DOT spokeswoman says while Roberson will be charged for not completing the project on time, they don't know what those damages are yet because it's still not done.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Choco Bill Location: Chocowinity on Jun 3, 2011 at 05:20 AM
    We drive this road almost every day and as stated, many days nobody is working. Since I live in the area, there wasn't enough bad weather days to push back the completion date twice. Poor scheduling and manpower management might be closer to the truth. In conclusion, if this company wanted to get the work done, they would have added more manpower. Could have help some people if only temporary. So I would add poor project management as well.
  • by Anonymous on May 31, 2011 at 09:49 AM
    this particular contractor should throw up his hands so to speak an adddmit that he is unable to complete this project an throow it up ion the bonding company that is responsibly for the bonding of the quality of the work an the finishing of the work on time an within budgetary constrants . an then the bonding company will hire a compent contracing company to finish off what this contractor statrted but was unable to finsih up thank you
  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on May 29, 2011 at 01:02 AM
    I was surprised to see some semblance of progress on the Highway 17 project. I tried to cross Barr Road and was met by a "One Way" sign indicating that I cannot cross. They need to put a sign up before you cross the previous intersection that says you can't get across, and that you will have to turn left and cross at Possum Track, or where that road becomes 102 where 17 is merged again. So they are doing something, just something counterproductive (at least, for anybody who drives that way). On a lighter note, it's funny how these things change. The 17 bypass, the upgraded bridge on Grimesland Bridge Road, and the changing traffic patterns on 17 and 33, one almost forgets how it was before, and wonders how we got by before.
  • by Anonymous on May 28, 2011 at 04:47 PM
    In the real world when an employee does not meet deadlines and/or costs the company more than budget allows, that employee is generally terminated. Why is this contractor given so many opportunities? Generally poor performance is not tolerated in most industries.
  • by PAUL on May 28, 2011 at 11:18 AM
    Withh regards to your posting on here this used not to be the case contractors used to be consicous an want to do an perform according to the required state speceficiaitons but do to the politcal deregulations thatis an has been taeking place becaue of contractors making campaign donotions to the political of both political partys an the corruption an the intentional wasting of taxpayers dollars these contractors now a day are just absoultely refusing to build project according to the states sepceficaitons an the taxpayers are bearing the brunt of the unnecessary cost associated with it an this just is totaly wrong they know what is expected of they an what they are required to do according to the states specefications, plans, supplemental agreements, an other contract doocuments that are set up to regulate the correct building of state highway in north carolina but the word reegulate is what all contractors are hateing these days because they are refusing to comply with what they are supposly to be doing in the building of these highway structures. because they feel that they have bought an paid for the politicans in this state with their campaign donations an they feel they should be allowed to get away with providing soory work products in the form of sorry roadways thank you
  • by Paul Location: New Bern on May 27, 2011 at 12:20 PM
    Did'nt realize there was so much ignorance coming from 90% of the people of Beaufort County. It's normal for delays to occur. My brother is a contractor out of South Carolina (raised here in New Bern) and he knows that mother nature and the rediculous state laws North Carolina has come up year in and year out. If you want to blame someone, blame the state. Don't blame the contractor for this mess. It's like many of you people expect the construction crews to be perfect. If you want to moan and groan about the crews then how about take your lazy whiny butts to the job and work on it yourself. I'll bet over half of the negative posters don't have jobs and are sitting back waiting for the next government check to come out. What a joke you people are.
  • by Unlimited Contruction Inspector Location: Sandy Ridge on May 27, 2011 at 07:58 AM
    Its very clear the general public is rather ignorant to contruction. I hold a unlimted construction certification by the state of NC & a 4 year degree in construction management from ECU & know delays are normal. Roberson is very well qualified & competent in all construction..The owner of this company is a very good business man , but yet , and even better person. I will pray for the ignorant...
    • reply
      by Dar on May 27, 2011 at 09:47 AM in reply to Unlimited Contruction Inspector
      You have made some really good points. I think the main problem is that many drivers like myself have seen too many weeks, when weather was great and there was no activity except in one particular stop. All in all, I think many of us just are waiting the construction to finish so driving on 17 won't be such a pain.
    • reply
      by Well...? on May 27, 2011 at 10:09 AM in reply to Unlimited Contruction Inspector
      It is clear that you can blow your own horn, and make whatever excuses for this guy. I travel that road every day of the week, and During several dry warm periods that lasted for weeks, I saw very little being done. Maybe they were waiting for the family of some sort of endangered worm to crawl off..... The thing I know about is grading, and if you would go look at how they completed that projest, then you would know what the delays are. But again you would rather blow your own horn and make excuses for POOR PLANNED JOB. But wait, I have wings, and can fly, and I will be starring in the next X-man movie......Anyone actually beleive that......In the end, you are trying to do PR repair for the company, or you are getting paid by this job in some way. Nice try buddy but you struck out, now go back outside and play in your sandbox with your army men
  • by Woodchicken Location: Beaufort County on May 27, 2011 at 06:33 AM
    After reading the comments it is obvious that the majority of these folks are ignorant to the highway industry. Weather, additional work and project over-runs add additional time to these contracts which extend the completion dates reguardless of the contractor having lowest bid price. Also, once the additional days are expended the contractor will be required to pay monetary penalties. It is obvios to me that most of the folks commenting don't know what they are commenting on. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU SHOW YOUR IGNORANCE ON A PUBLIC FORUM!!!
    • reply
      by OleHen on May 27, 2011 at 07:57 AM in reply to Woodchicken
      So what's your point,,Cluck Cluck ??
    • reply
      by On US 17 on May 27, 2011 at 08:19 AM in reply to Woodchicken
      Igonorant comments or not here's how I see it, the state bought out land and property around 5 1/2 years ago. Flatiron was able to complete the bridge project/bypass on time. Whether it is the contractors or state's fault who knows, but it should have never taken this amount of time to complete the stretch of road coming off the bypass south heading towards New Bern which is around 3 miles long. So explain that one to me since your so smart and everyone else on this forum is ignorant!? So go ahead and blow or should I say type some more hot air!!
      • reply
        by fedup on May 27, 2011 at 08:54 AM in reply to On US 17
        Actually the job is closer to 4.5 miles long. Woodchicken was making a point, dont think he's actually calling you ignorant, just saying you do not understand what is involved with this project.
  • by local Location: jville on May 27, 2011 at 05:35 AM
    Dot in VA. completed there HWY 17 project(8 miles of Divided four lane 2 bridges)in roughly 2years(applaud)!!!NC. DOT(what a joke)they can't even go 3.5 hrs.and in my life time!!!Interstate 40 from coast to coast was completed in less time!!!A simple drug test may improve our states performance!!!
  • by Savannah Location: hwy 17 on May 27, 2011 at 04:38 AM
    Maybe if they took less time moving those orange barrell"s and keeping us guessing which way we are to go they would have more time to work on the road. We are lukcy that someone has not been killed.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 27, 2011 at 10:23 AM in reply to Savannah
      My sentiments exactly. Its now a guessing game as to which side of the road well be driving on and where the cones have been moved. Our family has had fun playing the guessing game to see who is right this week. lol All kidding aside, contractor-get the job done or tell the state that they need to get someone who can!
      • reply
        by fedup on May 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM in reply to
        The traffic control plans are drawn up in Raleigh. DOT and the contractor have to follow the traffic plans even if they are assinine!
        • reply
          by Pffffft on May 27, 2011 at 04:09 PM in reply to fedup
          Long Term traffic control plans are drawn up in raleigh not last minute ones. Idiot.
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