Construction on Wrightsville Ave. continues to be on hold

Reported by Casey Roman - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Construction at the intersection of Wrightsville Avenue and Independence Blvd. has been on hold for some time and will continue to have a red light until funding is available.

Residents are frustrated with the project's status as their inland homes are turning into waterfront property with the recent rainfall.  The street trenches are collecting runoff and flowing into their yards.

"We call it the moat," said homeowner Tom O'Neal.  "Most castles had a moat around them with water."

O'Neal has been the king of his castle for about a decade, but now construction has eroded his privacy and his driveway.  It has also given him a new lawn ornament, which he calls the "vibrator."

"This is what they use to shake the dirt down into the Earth and it also shakes your home," said O'Neal.  "We've had to take some pictures down occasionally."

This project has also shaken things up for Wrightsville Avenue business owners.  Sea Peace Pet Grooming is new to the area, but it's entrance is a mess and makes the shop easy to miss.

"A bulldozer was out here and they were getting ready to take down these wires up here and they bumped the sign so I can't even put my logo up yet," said owner Tanya Isley.

The bulldozer Isley was talking about is now sitting in park, as the orange barrels sit unmoved in months.

The DOT says bankruptcy court is holding up Mainline Construction's contracts for the project, which means homeowners, business owners, and traffic will have to wait until construction gets the green light again.

The DOT says they are checking the area regularly to ensure its safety.  They also say the project may become open for a local contractor to take over.

Residents and business owners in that area who are having a problem with erosion or have safety concerns in regards to the construction can call Wayne Currie, DOT resident engineer, (910) 251-2691.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.