Stephenson Ave. Construction Project Passes Deadline - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/30/04

Stephenson Ave. Construction Project Passes Deadline

There seems to be no end in sight for many residents and businesses along Stephenson Avenue in Savannah. A widening projected is now two years behind schedule. Even after Chatham County gave contractors a year-long extension. One thing we do know is the contracting company is facing some hefty fines if it doesn't get this project completed and fast.

Toucan Cafe owner Stephen Maguilas told us, "It has hurt, definitely it hurt."

Fellow business owner Jeff Couper of American Family Dental agrees. "This has gone on way too long."

Businesses along Stephenson Avenue say when the contracting company APAC failed to meet the deadline last year, they were patient, but now there's no excuse.

"We're ready for it to be over with," said Maguilas. "Once construction is over and the road is opened, we'll see an increase."

His Toucan Cafe sits right in the middle of the construction. It makes most of its money during lunch and Maguilas says, although this construction hasn't helped much much. "We've definitely had some slow days when construction is going on, and it's hard to gage."

But now that APAC has failed to meet the November 30 deadline, there is a price to pay. A big one. From now on, every day the project goes past the deadline, APAC has to pay $450 a day.

But some still think that's not enough. "Every time those things back up, the bells, the whistles, it's very annoying absolutely," said Couper.

And with many more annoying days ahead, it's just more money many of these businesses might lose. "If you have a choice of coming down a road you know there is construction, and going to another road that doesn't, they're really going to suffer," said Couper.

We did try contacting APAC today. They were not available for comment. We did however talk with Chatham County  engineers and they say there is no reason for construction to take this long.

As far as when the project is to be complete, there are many rumors going around but no one knows for sure.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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