Crews are about four months behind schedule on the project to widen Leesville Road, and construction should wrap up by mid-December, according to an engineer for the city of Raleigh.
DeVere Construction, a Michigan-based company, was hired by the city to widen a stretch of Leesville Road in northwest Raleigh from two to four lanes.
The $5.6 million project, which began construction in early 2014, also includes the addition of sidewalks, bike lanes and a median.
Raleigh leaders began planning the project in 2011 to deal with heavy traffic from Sycamore Creek Elementary School and The Franciscan School.
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Leesville Road also leads to Interstate 540 and is the main access point to the Harrington Grove neighborhood.
The city has received “quite a few” complaints about the construction, said Tim Sudano, a project engineer for Raleigh. Drivers have few detour options, he said.
“On a scale of one to 10, it’s pretty high up there as far as rush hour and traffic and trouble,” he said. “It’s just overloaded until we get these four lanes completed.”
Crews are currently working on the median, he said.
Sudano said it’s not too alarming for the city that the project is four months behind schedule.
“It’s not bad in the scheme of things,” he said. “The lateness of the project is not the worst I’ve seen ... but it’s the frustration of dealing with the backup each morning that’s got people frazzled.”
DeVere has completed other projects for the city, including the first phase of widening Falls of Neuse Road.
The company has also completed projects for the state Department of Transportation, including the recently opened Rolesville Bypass in Wake County and other road and bridge projects in western North Carolina.
DOT reprimanded DeVere earlier this year for taking too long to complete the Rolesville Bypass. It took just over four years to complete the 5-mile road.
The delay was attributed to unexpected rock and severe weather.
DOT officials told DeVere the company could not place a bid for any new state projects until the Rolesville Bypass was completed.
DeVere, which takes on jobs across the country, could not be reached for comment.
As for the Leesville Road project, it’s possible the company was spread too thin, Sudano said.
“If the contractor dedicated more forces to the project, maybe it could’ve been finished in time,” he said.
DeVere is currently contracted to work on a few other construction management projects for Raleigh.