Austin halts work on 99 construction projects following recent rain

Construction work has been suspended at 99 job sites in Austin on Monday and the City of Austin says it plans to inspect more sites throughout the week which could add to the list.

According to city officials, recent rains pushed soil and sediment from those construction sites into streets.

“We had two jobs in the city shut down that we know of I’ve talked with numerous builders in the city that has also had numerous jobs shut down,” said Chris Peterson the owner of Rivendale homes who got the notice at a couple of his sites. These notices, known as red tags, were passed out by the city Monday.

“When that happens everyone on the job has to leave and they lose a day pay." Peterson said his crews were in the middle of working when the city stopped by and told everyone to leave. These orders can lead to hefty costs.

“It's probably $400 to $500 a day then the lost wages of the guys not working on the job,” said Peterson.

After the recent rains and flooding, the City of Austin planned to inspect the nearly 2000 active construction sites across the area for soil and sediment which was washed out into the street.

“We don't want to contribute to anymore impact on the city's drainage infrastructure,” said John McDonald the Austin Environmental Conservation Program Manager.

McDonald said they're doing this to prevent potential flooding caused by drainage systems getting clogged by soil and sediment.

To get the red tag lifted, crews must clean the street and curb in their area. Once that's done a city inspector must come out to check which according to Peterson can take a while, “You have no idea; they could be out here tomorrow it could be next week.”

The city will be out inspecting more sites throughout the week as they plan to inspect every active site in the area.

One concern for Peterson is the area he's working in he said a lot of this soil and sediment is not coming from his site but instead uphill.

The city says they are looking into this issue but in some areas, with all the rain they've had, it's hard to tell where the soil and sediment came from.

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