LUDLOW — The delayed Route 103 paving project is on track to be “substantially complete” by July 26, according to a spokeswoman for the state.
Natalie Boyle, project outreach coordinator with EIV Technical Services, a firm that does public outreach for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, said Tuesday that Pike Industries, the company contracted for the project, has completed the major paving portions of the project, including side roads and in coming weeks will pave driveway aprons and bridge joints.
Pike was supposed to have the entire project completed last year, but was unable to do so. Residents and commuters were upset by this, prompting Ludlow’s State House representative, Logan Nicoll, to arrange a public meeting during which Pike and the AOT could explain the delay. Pike employees said the rainy weather was largely to blame, but acknowledged that it made some missteps with the placement of paving equipment.
Residents took issue with long delays, and were unhappy with how the road markings held up over the winter.
Boyle said Tuesday that since June 20, Pike has paid $3,800 in “liquidated damages” to the state per day, and will do so until the project is deemed “substantially complete” by AOT.
She said liquidated damages are what contractors pay when a project runs past the completion date specified in their contracts. The daily payments are calculated based partially on the total cost of the project, which in this case was $9.5 million. Pike was supposed to have the job done by Oct. 15, but it has been credited with a number of days owing to rain.
Jeremy Reed, construction engineer for AOT, said Tuesday that for this construction season, Pike has been on track with regard to Route 103 and there have been no major delays.
He said in May that AOT, for this year, chose to limit the number of projects for which Pike could be primary contractor to 20. There had previously been no limit, which wasn’t unusual given Pike’s size and resources.
Ralph Pace, a Ludlow resident who helped promote the informational meeting between Pike, AOT and the community in April, said Tuesday the Route 103 project looks to be on its way to completion within a few weeks. While there had been some traffic delays early this construction season, there don’t appear to have been any major issues.