Almost as soon as the construction crews left Harrison Avenue in Lakeview, they returned.
Several brick crosswalks and part of a brick sidewalk installed in the 700 block of Harrison between Canal and Argonne boulevards during a “streetscape” beautification process were not up to snuff, the city said. They would have to be torn out and laid again.
Joint spacing and alignment of the bricks did not meet the standards of the Department of Public Works because they were not level, said Tyler Gamble, a City Hall spokesman.
The repair work is covered by the project warranty, so the replacement or resetting of the bricks will be done at the expense of a subcontractor that botched the job, said Dana Stumpf, chief administrative officer of Durr Heavy Construction, which was awarded the contract for the job.
The repairs are expected to take about three or four weeks, according to Stumpf.
The $4 million project began in March 2013 and took about a year to complete.
When it was done, Harrison Avenue’s main commercial stretch had been turned into what the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association described as a “European-inspired thoroughfare” — not only new crosswalks but wider brick sidewalks and new street lamps.
Almost immediately after the work wrapped up, though, dips and bumps formed at some crosswalks, and bricks began to chip and break in some places, requiring crews to once again block off a lane of traffic on City Park-bound Harrison.
Stumpf said the affected areas account for about 10 percent of the total project.
Gamble said crews will examine the rest of the work to ensure no other problems pop up in the future, requiring even more repairs.
Stumpf said Durr is “aggressively” monitoring the subcontractor’s repair job.
“As general contractor, we are sensitive to the community’s desire for this project to be completed quickly and efficiently, and we appreciate their patience,” she said in a prepared statement. “We would like to assure the Lakeview community that issues regarding the brick pavers on Harrison Avenue are being closely monitored and diligently addressed.”
As it happens, Durr’s president, Freddy Yoder, is vice president of the LCIA and a member of the Lakeview Street Maintenance District, created by the state Legislature in 2010.
Harrison Avenue is not the first streetscape project to see problems.
Last year, work done on the Freret Street commercial corridor between Jefferson and Napoleon avenues had to be ripped up and redone in some places.
In that case, shoddy brickwork was to blame as well, requiring a new contractor to come in and fix the job done by the first contractor because of concerns about the quality of the project.