Augusta area construction companies scramble to stay on schedule during rainy weeks

Monday, July 15, 2013 5:17 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:00 AM
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As the rain kept falling, Pierwood Construction Co. president Ken Richards scrambled to keep home construction crews on schedule. Roofers dodged showers and painters found any period of dry weather to stay on track.

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Steve Thomas lays bricks at Tutt Middle School, where site work and grading became a muddy mess.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Steve Thomas lays bricks at Tutt Middle School, where site work and grading became a muddy mess.

Still, the rain was too much and delays piled up, Richards said.

“We are finding the windows of opportunity to work within,” he said. “It’s a challenge.”

Throughout the city, residential and commercial construction companies have fought against the weather to protect profits and deliver results to customers. Many say they rework schedules, shift tasks and make any adjustment they can to continue working.

“We do anything we reasonably can. In the end, Mother Nature wins,” said John Allen, the president of Allen-Batchelor Construction. “We can’t just stop completely. We try to keep moving forward.”

Crews faced considerable delays caused by muddy grounds that must dry before they pour concrete foundations and parking lots, install utilities and build exterior facades, Allen said.

To lose as few days as possible, workers tried pumping out water and skimming away layers of mud, he said.

They also addressed erosion issues with silt fences and hay bales where needed.

“It costs not only time but money,” Allen said.

The company was lucky to finish a few big commercial projects before the rainy weather started, allowing some businesses to open on schedule, he said.

“Had we not, they still wouldn’t be open,” Allen said.

For the Richmond County school system, exterior paint projects and site preparation came to a near standstill at schools undergoing renovations, said Benton Starks, the senior director of facilities and maintenance.

Installation of portable classrooms at Bungalow Road Middle School was delayed because crews couldn’t perform underground
utility and plumbing work, Starks said.

Still, project schedules weren’t significantly delayed because days are built in for unforeseen conditions, he said. The start of school won’t be affected.

“Crews are working weekends and nights to try to stay on schedule,” he said.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 07/16/13 - 08:21 am
Weekends and Nights

Board of Education trustees should look into the invoices for all that overtime work very carefully. It has been raining just as much on the weekends as it has weekdays. Just because they send you a bill does not mean they actually were able to work.

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