How much does it cost not to streetscape a street?

The answer is over $200,000 and counting.

On Jan. 3, the city closed North Eugene Street between Smith and Bellemeade streets to allow Yates Construction Company Inc. to streetscape those blocks and also for waterline replacement.

At the Tuesday, Jan. 4 City Council meeting, business owners on North Eugene Street complained that the city had not made adequate allowances for them to continue to operate their businesses while the street was closed and asked for relief.  They noted that no provisions had been made for their businesses to get deliveries, for their customers to park or even for their garbage to be picked up.  They also said that they had been told they could choose whether to have the street completely closed for three months or partially closed for six months but were not given that option.

The City Council ordered the street be reopened and on Wednesday, Jan. 5 construction was halted and the street reopened.  North Eugene Street remains open and construction has not been restarted.

The result of the City Council ordering construction to be stopped and the Eugene Street reopened is that the city is now paying the contractor Yates Construction not to work.

In January, Yates billed the city $123,672 for “Down-time” per the contract with the City of Greensboro.

In February, Yates billed the city $107,962 for “Down-time.”

So the spur of the moment decision by the City Council to reopen North Eugene Street and halt construction has cost the city $231,634, and that is what the city is paying Yates not to work.

Greensboro Engineering Division Manager Jason Geary in an email explained, “This contract contains provisions that provides compensation to the contractor if the owner (City) suspends the work by their choice, much as there are provisions to provide for completion of the work at the contractor’s expense if he/she fails to fulfill their requirements of the contract.”