ALAMEDA -- Ongoing construction work to replace of a crumbling, century-old seawall at the southern foot of Walnut Street is making life unpleasant for nearby residents.
Lenett Rhodes is among them. She and her husband Lowell Rhodes live at the end of the street and she is tired of the backhoes and other large equipment blocking their driveway. The crew has been pleasant and accommodating about moving equipment when the couple needs to use their driveway, but, she said, "This should have been done and over with in August."
"They could have built a bridge by now," she said.
To further complicate the job, water lines have broken twice during the work and flooded the street, Rhodes said.
The work was scheduled to begin in July and was to be finished in August, but unforeseen discoveries have delayed the work, according to city Public Works Director Mat Naclerio. Workers found riprap and rocks and an old tank, possibly a water heater, as they dug.
"There are unknowns with every project," he said. At this point, both the city and the construction crew are projecting the work will be finished in January or February, depending in part on the weather.
The project is still within its $246,000 budget, which includes the $32,000 contingency built into the contract to cover additional work. But that is no consolation for the residents, especially for Heather Lamborn. She owns an apartment building across the street and the old sea wall is within her property lines.
The city directed Lamborn to pay for repairs to that portion of the seawall.
"They sent me a letter threatening the fine me and maybe send me to jail," she said.
Lamborn said the city first wrote to her in July 2011 about the repairs. She responded that she didn't have the money and tried to get the city to pay for it.
But it's not on city property, so the buck stops at Lamborn's wallet. She said it will cost her more than $30,000.