Cary settles money dispute with greenway builder

aspecht@newsobserver.comMarch 28, 2014 

— A dispute over the construction cost of the Black Creek Greenway is coming to an end.

The Cary Town Council on Thursday voted to approve a $48,000 settlement agreement with Blythe Construction Inc., which Cary hired in 2009 to build the second phase of the greenway.

Blythe built a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail that’s 1.3 miles long, as well as three bridges, including a 200-foot pedestrian bridge that spans a railroad line near the intersection of Maynard Road and Chapel Hill Road.

More than $1.7 million of the $1.9 million project was funded by grants, including about $1.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, known as the stimulus.

Blythe accrued extra expenses because the project took longer than expected, according to a Cary staff report. The project was scheduled to be completed by October 2010 but wasn’t finished until January 2012.

Blythe said the delays were caused by Cary and the N.C. Department of Transportation, according to the report. In September 2012, the company asked Cary to pay an extra $481,000.

Cary made Blythe an undisclosed offer that the company rejected, according to the report.

Attorneys for Cary and Blythe met for mediation on March 17, when Cary and the NC DOT agreed to pay the company a combined $160,000.

Ryan Beaver, an attorney for Blythe, declined to say why the company faulted Cary for the delays or how the settlement was reached.

“Neither I nor my client have any comment at this time,” he said.

Cary staff members also declined to comment on the case.

As for the Black Creek Greenway, it’s complete now and stretches 7.1 miles. It winds from Lake Crabtree in the north to Bond Park in the south.

It’s one of Cary’s most popular trails, said Paul Kuhn, a manager in the town’s Facilities Design and Transportation Services Department.

“A lot of people use it as a way to get in to Umstead (park) and to train for longer rides,” he said.

Kuhn said Black Creek was part of the reason more than 1 million people used Cary’s greenway system last year – and that was just on the weekends.

Specht: 919-460-2608; Twitter: @AndySpecht

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