Warm winter helping Southeast Connector crews catch up

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The Southeast Connector--a link between the south Truckee Meadows and I 80 East--was long delayed by controversy and local politics, but once construction was finally underway, it faced another problem.

A year ago record rainfall brought work to a halt. The contractor lost most of January through March.

"We lost 60 working days," says Regional Transportation Commission Project Manager Doug Maloy. "That's about 10 percent of the working days we had planned for this project."

And crews have been working ever since to catch up.

"We've been working some Saturdays here and there to try and catch up a little bit. So everywhere we've been able to have that opportunity, we've been able to take advantage of it."

This winter couldn't have been much more different and that's helped.

Even a normal winter might have slowed progress. This dry and relatively warm weather has allowed the contractor to do just about any of the work remaining.

"Bridge work is significant. With snow and temperature issues we would not be able to pour concrete and do some of that work. It is work that can be done pretty well during adverse conditions, but when we've got rain or snow we're shut down."

But as dry as it's been, one year later workers still are dealing with last winter's moisture.

"Washoe Lake drains through Steamboat Creek which runs through this project. It's two times it's normal flow."

It's helped these crews to make up for lost time, but it won't be enough. The signs on the project promise completion by spring. That won't happen.

"We're looking forward to a substantial completion this summer," says Maloy.