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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