SEASIDE — Pacific Power and Light — check.
Century Link — check.
Charter Cable — uncheck.
At least until a greasy wheel got some action from the cable company, which services Seaside homes near North Holladay Drive.
For the city of Seaside, the Holladay Drive renovation and repair is complete but for one key player. As Public Works officials and subcontractors seek to complete removal of overhead wires and poles to move to the next step, Charter Cable has yet to disconnect cable from homes and remove wires from poles.
“It’s very frustrating because we’re so close,” Public Works Director Dale McDowell told the Seaside City Council last week. “Right now we’re just waiting on Charter. We’re ready to finish this thing off. We’ve called headquarters every day, twice a day, told them you’ve got to get more people out here.”
Until Charter’s equipment is down, the city is unable to start sidewalks and landscapes, Seaside City Engineer Geoff Liljenwall said. “It’s an inconvenience to the tourists, it’s an inconvenience to the residents.”
“They had their fiber optic trucks out there today,” he said this morning. “They’ve had people out there each day during the work week, but I really can’t tell you if there’s an uptick of activity.”
The $3.4 million North Holladay Drive project began in mid-January, and impacted homeowners, businesses, bus routes, pedestrians, vehicles and utilities.
Workmen replaced existing sewer, water and force mains before reconnecting water and sewer services. Plans called for the installation of underground vaults and conduits for conversion of the existing overhead utilities — including electrical, telephone and cable — to underground utilities.
The cable is the last utility to be removed before poles are taken out and landscaping and sidewalks can be completed.
“They should be done by now,” Liljenwall said. “By the end of July, they should have started and they should have been done by the third week in August. We have great weather right now, but as everyone knows the weather could change in September and October. Asphalt plants might not be open in October when we’re done.”
Repeated calls from the city up the corporate ladder failed to yield results, Liljenwall said. He said he was passed from the company office in Astoria to another branch in Kennewick, Washington. “I don’t even have a firm date,” he said. “We’ve been really having to struggle to get them to respond.”
After that conversation, The Daily Astorian reached out to Charter Cable.
They referred the newspaper to a regional communications office in San Diego for comment.
On Thursday morning, Liljenwall received a call from a subcontractor with news that cable trucks were on their way. “The subcontractor said he’s ‘gonna have three trucks of these, three trucks of those,’” Liljenwall said. “He said they should be done before Labor Day.”
By midmorning, about a dozen cable workers could be seen up and down North Holladay Drive.
“We have been in contact with the city and recently partnered with a third-party contractor in order to expedite this project,” Charter’s Bret Picciolo said via email Thursday. “We plan to have all work completed within the next two weeks.”
“I guess from all my calls and the newspaper, they were out there in force today,” Liljenwall said.
Is he confident Charter can meet the Labor Day completion date?
“The proof is in the pudding,” he said. “We don’t know. I can’t believe anything until I touch it or see it.”