Civic center construction hits snags

Shown is the site of the future Port Isabel events center, where construction has been delayed. (Staff photo by Ray Quiroga)

Shown is the site of the future Port Isabel events center, where construction has been delayed. (Staff photo by Ray Quiroga)

Special to the PRESS

Reports have surfaced regarding problems with the construction of the new Port Isabel events center.

Those reports were confirmed on Thursday when City Manager Edward P. Meza said that the construction is facing several utility issues, but he also said that those issues would not delay construction or cost the taxpayers any more money.

“There have been some unforeseen items that have delayed the project,” said Meza. “According to our contractors it’s still on schedule. We had utilities that were going through the property on one side that delayed it. We had trees that we had to move… things like that. Hopefully after all that they are going to lay the foundation at the end of this month. It should be after that that we will begin building the walls and the roof.”

Colair Inc. began construction on the project in October 2012. It was also at that time that fiber optic wires from Time Warner and ADP surrounding establishments were discovered as digging had commenced on the property.

Mayor Joe Vega expressed concern over the project, saying that many people have approached him to ask about the construction’s progress.

“I have been concerned,” Vega said, adding that he requested for the contractor to update them on the delay. “People have asked my why the event center has been going at a slow pace and that it looks like nothing is really moving. That’s why I brought them in to see where we were at with the schedule.”

Vega then cited the same “unforeseen issues” cited by the city manager when addressing the need to reschedule. “I know they had to redo the schedule again because of some unforeseen situations that came up,” Vega said.

Meza also dismissed initial allegations that the construction company had dug pillars too deep, ceasing construction until the problem was resolved. “Everything has been based on the requirements from the state with the building and the soil type that we have here,” Meza said. “They have dug at the correct depth that they were required to do.”

Attempts to reach Ruben Sanchez, the contractor with Colair Inc., for comment were not successful as of presstime.

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