Tuesday, 25 December 2007 19:00
The 321 widening project is progressing, but slower than
officials had hoped.
The projected completion date is August 15, but
contractors think it could take all of 2008 to complete the job. The 6.57-mile
widening project in northern Caldwell County has seen its share of
complications, including a minor rockslide last week. Issues with the rock
formations have caused the company to stop using night crews for safety
reasons. Slope failures aren’t the only issue- the movement of utility poles
and limited blasting periods have slowed the project.
Winter operations will begin soon. Officials hope to
construct two mechanically-stabilized earth walls and one soil nail wall by
spring. Contractors also plan to excavate more dirt and rock in the winter
months. 2.2 million cubic yards of the 3.1 million cubic yards of required
material have been moved so far in the project. Expect more blasting in the
vicinity of Kirby Mountain Road.
The contractors, W.C. English Company, have not filed
for more time to complete the project- but insiders say filing is likely.