Rain Delay for Construction Work

North Texas weather has done what even the recession couldn't: stop work on millions of dollars worth of construction projects.

"Everybody is in the same boat," said Tim Erickson, of Core Construction in Frisco. " We try to mud through it together."

The rainy weather has been impacting development since October. Many work sites where ground has already been broken, such as a new four-story, 644-space parking garage behind Frisco's City Hall are behind schedule.

"We're about 30 days behind schedule," Assistant City Manager Ron Patterson said. "Our original delivery date proposal was supposed to be the end of the year.

Builders report that most construction projects are running between 30 to 90 days behind schedule, depending on the scope of the project. Each rainy day can cost developers seven days of work, because the ground needs time to dry out before heavy machinery can be moved in.

And that that time is costing money. Because much of the work is subcontracted, employees work day-to-day and move on if they can't work.

"They're going to move to the jobs that they can work and try to keep going," Erickson said. "What happens is, you lose them in your schedule."

Having to rehire workers can take even more time.

Some are even trying to keep pace with the storms, hiring companies to pump rain water off muddy job sites in hopes of drying the ground out quicker. But Mother Nature is proving a formidable foe.

In addition to the cost of combating the rain, many developers rent their heavy, earth-moving equipment. When weather is the obstacle to progress, companies are renting equipment they can't even use for the foreseeable future.

"It was just starting to get dry enough from the rain last week," Erickson said. "We've got this big rain today, and we'll probably lose another week or two on our jobs because of it."

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