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Rain bogs down projects

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

The large pad site at Rayzor Ranch Marketplace between Starbucks Coffee and Chick-fil-A is fenced off — the whole area coated in mud with large puddles pooled throughout.

This will be where a new Taco Cabana will be located this fall, but the project is like many others right now: A little behind schedule because of unprecedented rain.

Construction projects for warehouses, restaurants and apartments around Denton are having to work around the wet weather. For some projects, the impacts aren’t huge because foundations and walls are up, but others are at a complete standstill.

“It’s brought anything that didn’t already have the slabs poured to a complete halt,” said Lee Ramsey, co-owner of Links Construction. “It’s slowed down construction, and with safety concerns with it being as wet as it has been, we aren’t able to move at full speed. … It’s slowed things to a snail’s crawl.”

To build up, concrete foundations have to be poured first. But to pour them, the ground has to be completely dry. When it’s gotten to that point in recent weeks, rain is inevitably hours away.

Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke construction, between Chuy’s and BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at Unicorn Lake, has been delayed as a result of the downpour.

“We were hoping to have foundation poured by now, but our site is completely flooded,” said Scott Brown, director of construction.

Pending no other delays, Brown said the expected end date for construction is Oct. 6, and the restaurant should be fully operational by the end of that month.

A little bit of work was able to begin recently out at the new Rayzor Ranch Town Center, said Scott Wagner, senior vice president of development with RED Development, the company overseeing the project.

Crews were able to scrape topsoil and begin the work, but this week, equipment and machines stood on the lot. At this point, there won’t be any major delays to the project because they budgeted for bad weather days in their construction timeline, Wagner said.

“We always have weather days and delays accounted for in schedules, so we’re using them up, and it’s accounted for,” he said. “We know it’s North Texas and to anticipate some weather delays.”

Other projects are still on their way, though, because the exteriors were already built, like Guitar Center at Rayzor Ranch Marketplace.

Ramsey said it will be months before they know the impact the weather has on project completion dates, depending on when they can get back to work.

The past few weeks, employees have been meeting daily to figure out schedules to work to avoid rainfall, even if it’s only for a half-day, he said.

“The overhead doesn’t change for companies — you just have to push the work to another month or another week — but there’s a lot of labor guys and skilled labor guys who, if it’s raining, it affects their families,” Ramsey said. “It’s really important to us to get those guys to work, so their families can get taken care of.”

Staff writer Caitlyn Jones contributed to this report.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 or via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.