More delays are expected in the construction of a new exit ramp for northbound I-35 outside Ames due to critical engineering errors in both the plans and execution of the project that have resulted in several accidents as motorists pass the construction site.
Following an embarrassing construction error earlier this summer, in which several pylons for the ramp were built too high, Minnowa Construction, the primary contractor for the project, was penalized for the delay under terms stated in its contract with the DOT. According to state officials however, this latest round of delays falls outside the legal jurisdiction of the contract.
“The new problems are almost ludicrous!” said Iowa Department of Transportation engineer Steve Douglas. “Looking at it, you have to wonder what the people who were building it were even thinking!”
The latest issues with the project are numerous, however state engineers have identified three key obstacles to completing the ramp. First, the steel rivets being used are not the correct diameter and must be replaced. Second, muddy ground surrounding one of the pylons has caused it to become misaligned with its neighbors. Third, a giant concrete and steel rebar statue of a middle finger was accidentally built in the middle of the adjacent ramp, blocking traffic and causing several accidents as motorists passing on the interstate stared at the structure in amazement.
“We can understand a few delays, but this? This is too much.” Said Douglas. “We are looking at several more months being added, if not another year. That thing with the rivets just gets me mad.”
Minnowa Construction could not be reached for comment.