Water project leaves street in shambles

Residents in one Wilmington neighborhood are furious at utility crews for making a mess of their street.

A private company contracted by the city is installing water lines on Orchard Trace, a recently annexed street off Masonboro Sound Road.

Residents say the crews have dug up parts of their front yards, and have not repaired them. They also say they were promised the city water would be online by the end of May, but the date has been pushed back to early September. One woman says the mess, and the uncertainty, are keeping her from selling her home.

"They messed up a lot of people's lives doing the project," said Mona Kindell. "We thought it was going to be an easy experience. They'd just lay some pipe, we'd be on the city water, but it's affected all aspects of our lives."

Some of the damage will not be fixed until the project is complete because some lines may have been improperly installed. City officials defend the residents' concerns, saying they are furious with the Greenville-based contractor they hired. Hendrix Barnhill has taken responsibility for the delays.