To the chagrin of some Ross residents, replacement of a bridge on Thompson Run Road has gone much slower than expected and the road will remain closed until spring.
Pugliano Construction Co., Allegheny County's contractor on the $804,000 project, started work in July and had expected to finish by early November.
The work has closed Thompson Run Road just south of Amity Road since early July, requiring all but local traffic to follow a posted detour along McIntyre, McKnight and Siebert roads. But several drivers have adopted an unofficial detour along Amity Road, causing headaches for residents.
"The volume of traffic is unbelievable," said Marsha Logan, who lives on Amity. "My husband and I have witnessed cars passing cars at stop signs, speeding, running stop signs and honking at school buses while stopped picking up children. We have almost been hit while walking at least twice. I have been yelled at for walking on my street."
County spokeswoman Judi McNeil said heavy rain has repeatedly swamped the project site, forcing the contractor to spend time removing mud and debris and waiting for the stream level to recede enough to allow construction to resume.
The official completion date, initially in early November, has been pushed back to May, but Ms. McNeil said efforts will be made to finish the work sooner.
"We know it's been a real pain in the neck for the folks in that area," she said.
Several residents of the area contacted the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to complain that they saw long periods of inactivity at the work site.
"All summer the weather was good and the project was hardly worked on," Amity Road resident Karen Barbor said.
"That is not the case," said Angelo Christopher Pugliano, contract administrator and project manager for the company. "We have been working in excess of 40 hours a week since the start of the job. There are payrolls that show that."
He said development in the area contributes to a large volume of runoff in wet weather, with the stream climbing 7 to 8 feet in a sustained rainfall. "At this point, you're fighting Mother Nature," he said.
"The reason folks saw nice sunny days without people working is that it had rained recently and the company had to wait for the water levels [on the creek] to go down," Ms. McNeil said.
Although the contract has a provision assessing penalties if the work wasn't completed on time, it doesn't apply because the delays were caused by bad weather, not by the contractor, she said.
Mr. Pugliano said the company will end up losing money on the contract because of the delay. "The longer we stay there, the more we lose," he said. "I wish I could be out of there tomorrow."