SAN ANTONIO – Weekly status update meetings are held for St. Mary’s Strip and the first of the new year has gotten hot.
Businesses and homeowners are in critical condition due to the project, which was launched in 2021.
“I want you guys to get together. I want you to act like you’re professionally proud of your work,” said Chad Carey, president of North St. Mary’s Business Association.
The project was supposed to be completed at the end of 2022. Now, public works and contractor Spawglass are hoping to have the road completed by March 2023. Pavement, landscaping and lighting will follow in the summer.
“You are all killing us. I mean, first you took our parking lot, then you pulled onto the road, then you pulled into the side streets,” said Joseph Griffin, co-owner of the Gallery Club.
Many of those present had a lot to say about the progress and current status of the project.
“I want to stay in business. We’ve been here for 22 years. I won’t let construction ruin us,” said Randy Simpson, co-owner of Gallery Club.
Officials from Spawglass and Public Works cite a variety of reasons for the delays, one of which is weather related.
“November was a very rainy month,” a Spawglass employee said.
Other reasons cited included unforeseen soil and utility problems, and the error of a contractor no longer involved in the project.
“About 250 feet of sewer pipe was installed at the wrong height,” a Spawglass employee said when answering questions at the meeting.
North St. Mary’s Strip Business Association president Chad Carey said he wants accountability and a sense of urgency. Public works director Razi Hosseini tells us this is a priority.
“Whenever they miss the agreed deadline, we will charge them $1,300 per LD or liquid damage per day,” Hosseini said.
District 1 City Council member Mario Bravo said the city council is scheduled to discuss a financial bailout for St. Mary’s businesses next week.
Assistant City Manager Rod Sanchez also sent us a statement:
“First, let me thank our local business owners and residents for joining us for our weekly building meeting. We have heard all the concerns and the city is committed to implementing the projects that the community needs. Construction on St. Mary’s North Street is slated to be completed by March, meaning the roads will be open to the public. As planned, the city will complete the landscaping, lighting and final asphalting by the summer.”
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