NOLANVILLE — Recent heavy rains have made the Avenue H construction project a slippery mess for many residents.
Already facing a bumpy ride, residents along dead-ended Eighth Street find that they can’t drive their vehicles and leave their homes because of flooding.
“This is really such poor planning on (the city and the contractor’s) part ... this morning I couldn’t get out at all,” Jeri Vick, a homeowner along Eighth Street, said Wednesday.
Vick said she woke up Tuesday and saw two large bodies of water that were at least 3 feet deep along Avenue H, preventing about 10 Eighth Street residents from leaving in their vehicles.
Nolanville City Manager Stephen Pearl said the “pondage” was between 10 and 16 feet in length.
Avenue H is currently a dirt road that construction workers dug several feet below driveway level in order to lay street foundation.
The nearly $1 million project, which got underway in January, has had several delays in recent months when contractor Lone Star Grading and Materials ran into unexpected water and utilities lines.
“(The lines) have to be relocated so they are not in conflict with the project,” Pearl said.
Pearl said the run-ins with utility lines have caused up to a month delay.
A lack of drainage infrastructure added to the flooding problems, Pearl said.
The two large puddles that blocked Eighth Street passage was due to contractors digging around a water pipe that needed to be moved, he added.
“As soon as we were notified of the problem, we got on the phone with the contractors and the engineers to get it resolved ... we have to provide access at all times to residents,” Pearl said, explaining flood prevention and drainage issues were stipulations placed in the city’s contract with Lone Star Grading and Materials.
Meanwhile, Vick and her daughter, Kerri Turner, have several doctor’s appointments scheduled during the week and were concerned about keeping them.
For many residents on Eighth Street, the only way to access a paved road was through a grass lot next to Stop N Save, which allowed people to drive across its lawn to access 10th Street. However, the convenience store taped off the grass cut-through Tuesday night.
“You call city hall (with complaints), and they say, ‘Talk to the contractor,’ but you can’t call the contractor if they haven’t been here for two months,” Vick said, explaining she’d seen several cars get stuck in the mud recently.
Several residents said they have seen few contractors working on the road recently.
Pearl said the city hopes to meet with the contractors and engineers to ensure the situation does not happen again.
The project is still fully funded and paid for, despite rumors, and remains on schedule to finish in August, according to city officials.
Pearl said officials intended to remove the water on the road by Wednesday night.