EAST WENATCHEE — With winter fast approaching, Douglas County commissioners say they’re putting pressure on a Kennewick construction company to finish the Eastmont Avenue extension project this fall.
Nearly three weeks past its contracted completion date, the county has fined William Charles West Construction $6,000 a day, or more than $100,000 so far, Commissioner Ken Stanton said today.
“We’ve been on top of them the best we can to try to motivate them to get this thing finished,” he said, adding, “The folks up at Fancher are really getting concerned. They’ve been told this was going to be done this year.”
A company official for William Charles West Construction could not be reached to comment.
The company won the contract in August 2012 with a low bid of just under $7.2 million. The project extends Eastmont Avenue from Badger Mountain Road to the intersection with Highways 28 and 2/97. The bid was more than $2.7 million less than the engineer’s estimate, and Stanton said they’re pleased with the quality of work that’s been done.
Commissioners say a mid-summer rainstorm may have slowed the project for a few days. But they think it was the company’s late start this spring that really delayed it.
“It’s really frustrating for us, and I’m sure for the folks who have to travel through that intersection that’s all torn up right now,” he said.
As for not finishing before winter, “It’s not an idea we want to think about,” Commissioner Steve Jenkins said.
Stanton said he heard last week that the company was scheduled to begin paving the last stretch of roadway the first week of November.
But he thinks realistically, it won’t happen until the second week, and that will depend on the weather.
“We’re still crossing our fingers,” he said.