CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Construction on Nicholas Parkway has been underway since 2021, and neighbors say they're frustrated with how long it's taking. One part of the project is ahead of schedule while another is four months behind.
The project targets Nicholas Parkway East and West in between Santa Barbara Boulevard. It's intended to improve drains and roads. Though neighbors say they're happy to see improvements coming soon, they're frustrated with the delay.
"Loud, very loud," said Marcy Claythorn, who lives on Nicholas Parkway West. "They move these barrels over and the drivers — people sometimes end up coming up the wrong way on the street."
Claythorn moved into her home in June 2021 and said the construction started two weeks later in July.
"It's hard to get in and out of here [driveway] safely," she said. "Standing water, bugs. Lots of trash, debris left in our yard."
The frustration has merged over to Nicholas Parkway East, the other half of the project.
"It just seems like they’re here for a week or two weeks and then they go away," said David Gardner, who lives on Nicholas Parkway East. "Then they’re all the way up at the end of the street tearing it up."
Deanna Sorensen lives on the same road, but her street doesn't merge onto the detour. She has to go another way to get to and from her house.
"Sometimes the road is blocked off to where I have to get into my home and I can’t get in it so there’s no other option, but to drive my Jeep through neighbor’s yards, which isn’t appropriate either," she explained.
On Thursday, a City of Cape Coral spokesperson told Fox 4 they didn't have anyone available for an interview. We did ask when the construction is going to be done.
The spokesperson said Nicholas Parkway West will be done by the end of the month, though it's four months behind schedule.
"You don't know what they're running into," Gardner said. "You don't know what kind of problems."
The Nicholas Parkway construction website says those problems are "inclement weather and unforeseen underground conditions." We asked the project's public information officer, Ashlynn K. Dunn, to clarify.
We are referencing underground conflicts that design engineers or the contractors are not aware of. Any utility whether it be water, sewer, electrical etc., can be unforeseen if they are too old to be included in the City’s/County’s GIS systems. This is standard language that is utilized in the construction industry for underground projects. When crews encounter these conflicts, the contractor contacts the design engineer and the engineer investigates and designs a work around and that plan has to be approved by the City. This process can take some time, which may cause delays, but in the case of this project, we have not experienced any delays at this time due to unforeseen underground circumstances.
On Nicholas Parkway East, the spokesperson said an "expected substantial completion" date is December 2022 with the webpage promising an ahead-of-schedule completion by Spring 2023.
Gardner says he just wants the City of Cape Coral to "just get 'er done."
A construction worker on Thursday told us they're going to start paving Nicholas Parkway West and putting markings on the road next week, which will take place at night.
Though the project is taking longer than expected, a big portion of Nicholas Parkway West should be done by the end of the month.