TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — On South Manhattan Avenue in Tampa, just south of Interbay Boulevard, a section of road has been torn up for more than a year.
The road is often blocked with barricades and people who live in the area say after it was torn up, the project sat idle for months with no work being done at all.
“I see no one down there fixing this road, and now the garbage is picking up because people are coming and dumping their trash there,” said Shirley Bristow, who lives not far away.
The road is also a major way in and out of several neighborhoods and having it blocked off is more than an inconvenience. Some people are concerned because emergency equipment has to go out of their way to reach their streets.
“I think there are safety issues, so you’ve got folks that now have to drive around the old, historic roads in the neighborhood and you’ve got kids that are there and some of the roads are really narrow, so you can’t fit two vehicles,” said Jacob Sheehan, who also lives nearby.
Neighbors say they’ve been trying to find out for months what the delay with the project is, but they’ve had no communication from the city.
WFLA-TV asked the city for answers. Spokesperson Adam Smith says there are several reasons for the delay.
“The City approved what we believed was an appropriate permit for roadway construction in 2019. Through the construction process, an inspector discovered that incorrect survey data had been used. Work was directed to stop. The right of way had to be resurveyed, which confirmed that the right of way as originally approved was based on incorrect information. Therefore, the roadway was required to be redesigned and the permit reissued. The field work required by the Developer to resolve this matter took an extensive amount of time. Also, a portion of the roadway had been constructed on private property,” said Smith.
For Chris Ingram, who also lives in the area, the answers from the city are not sufficient.
“The city accepted those site survey plans, so it’s on the city. We still have a road that has been unattended to for over a year,” said Ingram.
Smith says it’s now up to Lennar Homes to do much of the work to repave the road.
“If we assume that is the truth then why hasn’t the mayor held Lennar accountable? Why aren’t they saying, ‘Lennar, fix this road now, in a timely manner or we’re going to deny you permits or we are going to deny you permits in the future on any unrelated projects?'” Ingram said.
WFLA-TV spoke to a representative of Lennar Homes, and emailed questions about the project.
So far, Lennar Homes has not replied or given any answers about when the project will be completed.
“Ultimately, I think the city should be holding Lennar accountable if the city says they are to blame. It shouldn’t take 12, 14 months to pave a half mile of road,” said Ingram.