Tampa residents want answers after dealys to the Watrous Canal Rehabilitation project

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 18:23:41-04

Barbara Davidson is 95 years old and in great health. But recently had a close call.

"I got up and fell down," said Davidson.

To her surprise water flooded her Beach Park home.

"It's just stupid because I've lived here for 50 years in this house and never has it come up."
 said Davidson

The damage was so bad she and her son Richard had to move out for two months. The only relief, the city footed the bill.

"They have agreed to pay it. The contingency that we signed an agreement so it doesn't mean that they're taking blame

But Richard and Barbara say it's only one of many issues with the Watrous Canal Rehabilitation project.

"It's a construction nightmare," said  Cynthia Shellabarger who lives on the opposite side of the Davidosn's in Beach Park.

For one year she's dealt with  noise, dirt and delays.  

"They've only done a small piece of the wall in 10 months," said Shellabarger

City officials said it's a huge undertaking. They need to rebuild the system in order for storm water drainage to work properly.

The project impacts hundreds beyond this neighborhood, stretching nearly five football field all the way to Westshore.

Shellabarger understand that but asks,  

"Why it is taking so long?" said Shellabarger.

In an email the city blamed unforeseen problems including additional shoring and excavation.
But Action News has learned there's more problems. The city confirmed the contractor fired the last subcontractor.

"That really put a damper on the entire project and has caused it to be extended," said Shellabarger.

It's already two months past the completion date and now city officials said it will be at least January before the project is completed.

Barbara Davidson is not hopeful.

"It will never be done," she said.

The neighbors are just hoping this exposure will help push the project.

"I just want them to make a decision. How long this is going to take and stick to it. You know pressure the people to get this thing done. So we can all get back to normal life," said Richard Davidson.