It’s been a long road for the residents of Lewiston Road as the long-delayed construction project on Route 104 seemed to follow an endless winding road to completion.
Work was officially awarded to Accadia Site Contracting in October, 2012, after the previous contractor, Man O’Trees, failed to complete the job.
Work started in good faith in October and November and was finally capped for this season with the expectation to resume work in the spring.
“It was agreed with the city that we would proceed to a certain point,” stated Accadia’s Project Manager Anthony Milone. He explained that the work could not be properly completed over the winter months.
Accadia submitted its first project invoice for work in the amount of $1.2 million to the city’s consulting engineers, Wendel Duchscherer on December 19. Confirmation of delivery was received. Since that time, however, the paperwork has seemingly been lost and the city cannot pay.
“No one can find it,” Milone lamented.
City Controller Maria Brown recognizes that the contractor is in a bind. “The invoice is not in our office. I cannot legally pay anything without an invoice and the official sign-off from the city engineer, or whomever the Mayor designates to sign for him,” she said.
Part of the problem may stem from the medical leave of Jeffrey Skurka, the city engineer, whose recent illness coincides with the council voting him a pay cut from $96,000 to $78,000.
His absence has seemingly slowed the processing of the invoice.
Skurka was unavailable for comment and no one in his office could explain the delay and deferred to him. The lack of payment puts a hardship on the contractor, who, as Milone puts it, “we’re now financing a project for the city.”
But for the delay, the job is proceeding in the opposite fashion from the previous contract. As a user of the road, Controller Brown said, “Accadia did a wonderful job,…a fabulous, fabulous job.”