McCann Road construction

Vehicles in August drive along part of McCann Road reduced to one lane in each direction for continued construction of the Guthrie Creek Trail project.

Issues with bridge construction on McCann Road as part of the Guthrie Creek trail extension have placed a question mark on the project’s completion date.

The city earlier this year said it anticipated the project would be completed by the end of summer.

“Unfortunately we do not have a clear date for completion,” Parks Director Scott Caron said in an email this week. “We have discovered some slight conflicts where the bridge deck, approach and roadway meets that may not allow for proper drainage and create a bump. We are working with TXDOT on a solution and plan.”

The project was paid for with funding from the Longview Economic Development Corp. and a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation — McCann Road/Spur 63 is a state road so work there had to be cleared with TxDOT. Leland Bradlee Construction in Longview was awarded the contract for the work.

“I hate it as much as anybody,” Caron said Friday of the delayed completion. “We want it done as much as anybody.”

He said, however, that city officials also want residents to get what they deserve for the price awarded to the contractor for the work.

“We want to make sure it’s done according to the specifications so we’re able to maintain it and keep it in good working order for the long-term,” he said.

The question now is how best to address what he said is a problem with the contractor’s work installing a portion of the bridge. The trail extension passes under the bridge.

“Ultimately, it’s going to get done,” he said, and the trail will be “beautiful” in the end.

A number of mitigating factors have placed construction behind schedule — the project was supposed to have been completed in December, but weather and issues with locating utilities delayed that, Caron explained. Time was added into the contract to account for those issues.

Still, it’s possible the contractor could face penalties as part of its contract. That question will be resolved when the work is completed, Caron said.

The project include the north and south trail phases. it started around March 2020, according to the city, and was awarded for $4,606,736.

In the meantime, TxDOT, the city and the contractor are working out a solution.

LeLand Bradlee Construction owner Joe Smith said his company has been waiting for a list of items that need to be completed from TxDOT and for the agency to determine how to fix the problem.

“We come to a point the engineering didn’t work out,” he said, and now his company is “waiting on the engineers.”

“We’re wanting to open it ...” he said. “As soon as the engineers give us a drawing, we’re builders. We’ll build it.”

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Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She’s a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.