Hawthorne Bridge construction in popular Charlotte neighborhood delayed

Hawthorne Bridge construction in popular Charlotte neighborhood delayed

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A popular area of Charlotte known for cool restaurants and family-friendly homes is going through what feels like endless construction and too many orange cones blocking roads.

The $150 million construction project to develop a Gold Line streetcar is delayed due to the project’s contractor, Johnson Brothers Corporation, ordering incorrect parts for the Hawthorne Lane Bridge.

Charlotte Area Transit System, or CATS, says that correcting this work will not cost taxpayers any additional money because it is the responsibility of the contractor to fix their error.

The city originally said the bridge would reopen in March 2019 but incorrect steel girders for the bridge were ordered by the contractor. This error has temporarily stopped construction on the bridge portion of the project.

Construction efforts on other segments of the project are moving along while construction on the bridge is delayed.

CATS says that the bridge is safe to drive under.

Shannon Thompson rides her bike past the construction every day to go to work.

“The big hole right here is where I would initially start my ride,” said Thompson.

But with the construction, folks in the neighborhood have had to reroute.

“In our minds we were excited with that March date,” said Tim Baire, who has lived in the neighborhood for the past five years.

Baire was told that the Hawthorne Lane Bridge would reopen two months from now.

But a contractor mishap threw off that timeline.

“Of course this week you get the news that they missed up the measurements on the bridge and now we don’t know when this is going to end,” said Baire.

So when will the bridge be ready to open?

CATS says they do not have a new date set yet but are working with the contractor.

“It’s just a big inconvenience trying to get around this area you know so much construction,” said Ra Malik.

The construction is being managed by Johnson Brothers Corporation. As contractor, they are responsible for ordering the wrong steel girders for the bridge.

“Ordering the wrong part is news to me and it’s not super well received news,” said Thompson.

Businesses in the area say the construction has been more than just an inconvenience, it has hurt their sales because people don’t want to deal with the detours and parking problems.

Correction January 18, 2019:

An earlier version of this story stated that CATS did not know if this ordering error would cost taxpayers additional money. CATS clarified to say that the ordering error is the responsibility of the contractor to fix and will not cost taxpayers any additional money.

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