Saying site preparation for Volkswagen’s assembly plant “has zero inclement weather days” built into the schedule, a Chattanooga official noted Tuesday work had ground to a halt due to steady rains.
“We were on time until the rain hit,” said Bill Payne, the city engineer.
He said the scores of heavy earth-moving and other equipment on the site likely won’t restart work until Thursday at the earliest.
A grading contractor is working six days a week and making up any down time on Sundays, he told the city’s Industrial Development Board.
To meet VW’s aggressive construction schedule, a contractor planning to relocate two small streams at the site plans to begin working seven days a week and nights, the city engineer said.
“The stream contractor is doing everything to move forward,” Mr. Payne said.
The work is part of a massive site prep effort begun by the city and Hamilton County even before Volkswagen announced it would bring its $1 billion assembly plant to Enterprise South.
After VW’s announcement in mid-July, city and county crews along with hired contractors continued to prepare the 1,350-acre location to ready it for construction. Volkswagen wants to start pouring concrete in November.
Officials estimated part of the site work at $25 million to prepare the building pads for the plant. Excavation activities were put at over $16 million of that amount.
On Tuesday, the board agreed to a $605,240 design contract for engineering firm Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon.
Steve Leach, the city’s public works administrator, said the city continues to look at the area around the site as work continues there.
He said, for example, improvements to the intersection of Bonny Oaks Drive and Hickory Valley Road is being considered to handle the large numbers of workers who will be going to the site.
Volkswagen wants to start making cars at the plant by early 2011. It plans to hire 2,000 workers and make up to 150,000 cars annually.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...