Local News

Rain, Rain, Go Away, DOT Crews Want Their Pay

Posted August 1, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— If you are tired of rain making your commute a hassle, imagine if it turned your workplace into a slippery, sliding mess. Construction on Wake County'sOuter Loophas come to a muddy halt.

Crews trying to turn raw earth into Interstate 540 are stuck in the muck. The rain is settingweather records, and setting back completion dates.

The rainy summer weather has been unusual, says Jerry Linder, an engineer with theN.C. Department of Transportation.

"It sets projects back. Even though they figure in their project scheduling time for the rains and that kind of stuff, you never expect two weeks in the summertime that you can't work," he says.

Some projects, like surveying and locating utility lines, can go on. But moving, paving, clearing debris and pothole patching are not possible in the wet weather.

The rain can also wash away some workers' paychecks.

A construction crew working on the widening of Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh is a victim of the near-daily deluges. The foreman says his crew has worked one full day in the last two weeks. When it rains, workers only receive two hours' pay.

"Right now, it's raining mostly at night," Linder says. "When you go back in during the day to work, everything's real soupy and muddy...it doesn't really dry out. By the time it dries out late in the afternoon, well, here comes that late afternoon shower again."

The rain is a hassle for everyone, but when it hassles the DOT, it means construction delays and higher costs.

The DOT says the rain also has overwhelmed many erosion-control efforts, and some fallen trees have blocked secondary roads.