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Work on Hwy. 141 extended 17 months
Project to finish by end of '10
141 work from 6-23-09 file
Javier Vega moves barrels on Hwy. 141 earlier this summer. - photo by File photo
Those who travel the road daily are relieved there’s an end in sight to the Hwy. 141 widening project, though their frustration continues to simmer over the months-long delay.

The state Department of Transportation has set the new completion date for Dec. 31, 2010. That’s 17 months after the $50 million project was supposed to be finished.

“Although we’re appreciative of the modest progress that’s been made, it still seems woefully inadequate,” said Dan Slot, who launched the political action committee, Get 141 Done, and the corresponding Web site,

The Web site allows visitors to sign a petition to expedite the project, which will turn Hwy. 141 into a four-lane, divided highway between McGinnis Ferry Road and Hwy. 9. Signatures number in the hundreds, Slott said.

Because the last deadline, July 31, was so easily moved, Slott said he’s reluctant to put faith in the new one.

“How much stock can you put in a completion date of Dec. 31, 2010?” he asked. “And what is the downside if that date isn’t met, other than the citizens that have to deal with it and the businesses that go out of business because of lack of completion?

“If you add it all up, we’re really looking at a construction time frame of five years to complete 6.2 miles of roadway. The core issue at play here is that we can do very little other than encourage.”

DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the deadline is a hard one, carrying penalties if it’s missed. She also noted the delay hasn’t been the contractor’s fault.

HDR, the company hired to design the project, closed its Atlanta office early in the process.

Pope has said the work ended up requiring many revisions, all of which had to be handled in-house by the department’s road design staff, who were already swamped. The slow relocation of utility lines also contributed.

Pope said contractor C.W. Matthews has been given the “revised completion date.”

“We hope it’s done way before that,” she said. “The project is currently 71 percent complete.”