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CR Road Project Still in Need of Contractors

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--City leaders in Cedar Rapids have now put two street construction projects on hold.   

They say the problem stems from lack a of contractors bidding to do the work.

Right here on 42nd street is one of the areas the city wanted to start working on, but they can't because of utility projects that have yet to be done.

It's one of some reasons why getting contractors is tough.

Summer in the corridor is when most construction work kicks into full gear.

City leaders had hoped to take advantage of this season, and while they have in some areas.

"This year it was almost mid-April before frost came out of the ground and contractors could really get started doing some of that paving work, said Dave Elgin, City Engineer.

Then there was the wait before getting construction bids out.

"Normally we want to get our projects out for the bid in the fall of the year for the next construction season that helps contractors schedule their work and get the resources they need to do the work, he said.

Voters first had to approve the extension of the local options sales tax months later in November.

So the bids to find the contractors to do the work went out at a time when contractors are already booked.

"A couple projects now may or may not get done or they may not get done in the time frame, some may cost a little bit more, said Mayor Rob Corbett.

"We'll give them a little bit more time to start the project and but also we'll give them a little more time to finish it, Elgin said.

Meanwhile, they'll continue taking bids.

"So next year, they'll know what the city's program is from the road repair standpoint and that will give them the next year to hire more people, Mayor Corbett said, and improve the city streets.

"We want to get our streets fixed, the people of Cedar Rapids want our streets fixed so we're going to keep pushing forward, he said.

The city has 80 road projects all together, some they have started, and some they haven't gotten to yet.

They say they will use city staff to complete some of smaller projects.
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