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High-Profile Projects Plagued by Construction Delays

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RALEIGH — A museum, a sports arena and a new parking deck at RDU International. They are all places you could be using soon, except construction delays are putting the brakes on your fun.

To top it off, in many cases your tax dollars are footing the bill.

The people at theNorth Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciencesin Raleigh will have to wait a little longer to move into their new building.

Construction delays have pushed back the museum's opening. It's not the only high-profile public project with a late arrival.

"I think when you look across the Triangle you have a number of complex projects. They're not simple things that have been done before," says the museum's Karen Kemp.

The Museum of Natural Sciences was scheduled for completion this fall. Now it isscheduled to open next April.

The Entertainment and Sports Complex had a target date of September 1. Recent comments suggest it could stretch well into October.

The new parking deck atRDU Internationalwas supposed to be wrapped up this summer. Now we'll be lucky to have it ready by December.

The reasons for these delays vary. Last year's weather, design changes and scheduling problems with contractors.

RDU International is still trying to figure out why they're so late.

"It's hard to coordinate these jobs," says contractor Tim Clancy.

The Triangle's largest general contractor says the delays occur more often in public projects that have multiple contractors.

"The public sector, you got several different entities and they can always claim it's someone else's fault, and in some cases it is. But it makes it really hard to enforce the discipline you have in the private sector," says Clancy.

Another big project to watch is the construction of the $30 million BTI Performing Arts Center in downtown Raleigh. It's supposed to be finished by the end of next year.

The people overseeing the project say they are trying their best to stay on schedule.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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