A record year for rainfall is causing construction on the Texas Tech Parkway to fall behind schedule. TxDOT officials say workers on the project have spent 56 days just pumping water off the construction site. The entire project was supposed to be done by January but the completion date has been pushed back to late March, early April. The portion of the project across from the United Spirit Arena was supposed to be done three months ago. Now it's uncertain when it will be complete.
The reason this project is so affected by the rain is simple. A lot of dirt is being moved around and of course all this rain is creating a whole lot of mud. TxDOT officials say they always factor bad weather days into contract lengths, but an unusually wet year will most likely force them to be flexible. Penny Mason with TxDOT says, "We're probably going to end up awarding some weather days to that contractor. As you can see, we've been challenged with weather lately."
When the bad weather ends that doesn't necessarily mean the delays do. Construction workers will have to wait at least three days after the rain stops to allow moisture to dry up.
In the meantime, construction on the Marsha Sharp Freeway is still about four months ahead of schedule. However, steady rains are eating up some of those days. TxDOT officials say the weather is keeping them from meeting minor deadlines on the freeway, including opening 34th Street and making some ramp changes.