Contractor for Dickinson Avenue facelift project files for bankruptcy

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 1:21 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The contractor for a delayed highway project in the middle of Greenville has filed for bankruptcy.

JSmith Civil, LLC of Goldsboro filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 19th, claiming debts of between $10 million and $50 million.

The company had a $15.7 million contract to upgrade a historic section of Dickinson Avenue, between Memorial Drive and Reade Circle.

Construction began a year ago, but the project came to an abrupt halt in April. The Department of Transportation said JSmith returned in May to finish some work so streets could reopen and then in June it declared the company in default of its contract.

Since then the DOT says it’s been working with the bonding company to find a contractor to complete the project. According to the Greenville Public Information Officer, Brock Letchworth, this project has been on the back burner for quite a few years.

“The Dickinson Avenue corridor has been an emphasis of the city for about a decade now in terms of revitalization and trying to establish businesses in that area and make it a more vibrant part of the downtown community than what it was say 15-20 years ago,” Letchworth said.

The Goldsboro company has completed one of the seven sections of the project. Businesses in the area now have new concerns when it comes to the project.

“Now what we are worried about is if they do find a construction company to take care of this road, if it’s closed down during college, during our busiest period, all of our busiest periods on Dickinson, it’s going to create a struggle for all the restaurants on this road,” Amante Tacos and Spirits General Manager, Ashley McAvoy said.

The project was supposed to be completed in the summer of 2025, but the DOT hasn’t said how this bankruptcy will impact that timetable.

Here were the plans announced last year:

  • Memorial Drive to 10th Street overpass: Retain three existing travel lanes and provide consistent 6-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the road separated from the curb by a 2-foot grass strip. Travel lanes will be 12 feet wide from Memorial Drive to Moye Boulevard/Hooker Road, and 11 feet wide from Moye Boulevard/Hooker Road to the 10th Street overpass.
  • 10th Street overpass to Reade Circle: Reduce two existing travel lanes to 10 feet wide and retain 6-foot wide on-street parking between 9th Street and 8th Street. Provide 8.5-foot sidewalks on both sides of the road, adjacent to the back of the curb.
  • Streetscape elements (funded by the city): From 10th Street overpass to Reade Circle brick and concrete sidewalks will be built brick edging.