ST. PETERSBURG, Fla, (WFLA) — A contractor working on a $3.6 million neighborhood bridge project is under fire for falling behind schedule.
Construction of the Tanglewood neighborhood bridge was supposed to be completed in December. However, city leaders say that won’t happen as the contractor is working at a slow pace.
“The contractor mentioned material concerns regarding concrete delivery availability,” said Brejesh Prayman, Director of Engineering and Capital Improvement for the City of St. Petersburg.
The contractor is American Empire Builders, a Miami-based company that has worked on projects with the Florida Department of Transportation. According to Prayman, the company started work on the project in June 2022.
“They are still working on the bridge, but it’s just the progress is not what we would expect,” he said.
Slow progress prompted the city to issue three deficiency notices to the contractor. Once the contract ends on Dec. 4, the city will retain $1,500 per day in liquidated damages until American Empire Builders completes the work.
Officials shared the 73-year-old bridge is being replaced as part of improvements to the city’s infrastructure. Residents in the Tanglewood neighborhood say the project has brought them headaches.
“They tore up all of our sprinklers, and we thought it was going to be a little while that our sprinklers were going to be torn up, and we weren’t going to be able to water our yard, but no, it’s been months,” said Matt Gowens.