MAYOR: City will starting fining Arlington Blvd. contractor starting next month

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - A contractor doing an upgrade to a major Greenville street that is behind schedule will be fined for each day it's not finished starting September 2nd.

Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly says the section of Arlington Boulevard between Hooker Road and Evans Street won't be finished until mid-October. "That is disheartening news and I am, to say the least, unhappy with the revised timeline," the mayor said.

That section of Arlington Boulevard includes J.H. Rose High School and was supposed to be completed by Thursday, ahead of when students return later this month. Fred Smith Company of Raleigh hasn't even finished the east-bound half of the work.

Connelly says starting September 2nd, the city will start charging the contractor $1,000 a day in liquidated damages until the first phase is completed.

The city is taking steps to ensure the safety of students at Rose by staging police at potential bottlenecks until the project is finished near the high school, the mayor says.

An estimated 40,000 vehicles travel on the street each day, according to the city.

After phase 1, Arlington Boulevard between Evans and Greenville Boulevard will then be torn up for its upgrade. The mayor says if the delays continue, the city could possibly look at hiring another contractor to do the phase 2 work.

All the work on Arlington is costing taxpayers between $4.5 million and was part of the Street and Pedestrian Transportation Improvements Bond dedicated to fixing the worst, most traveled roads in Greenville.

To make even more traffic headaches, the state DOT came in Monday and started a milling and repaving project for Evans Street. That heavily traveled street is part of the detour for Arlington Boulevard traffic and the mayor says the state never alerted the city that this was about to happen.