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Cold Weather Causes Construction Delays

By Mallory Cooke
By mcooke@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. --The Tennessee Department of Transportation says cold weather delayed about a dozen road projects across West Tennessee.

Construction cones line the Highway 45 Bypass in Jackson.

“It's not been too bad for us,” Mike Sutton said, manager at Guardian Self Storage. “It doesn't seem to hamper our customers getting to us.”

Sutton’s business sits along the construction zone. “It does make it a little hard to get across the bypass sometimes with one lane going through and sawing, but it hasn't been a huge deal,” Sutton said.

TDOT says cold weather delayed the project on the Highway 45 Bypass. “Concrete is 35 degrees,” said Michael Welch, a TDOT District Manager. “If it's below 35, we don't pour concrete.”

Welch says some construction materials have seasonal limitations, including asphalt. “They have to heat it up to a pretty extreme temperature, you know 300 degrees or more and the colder it is, the harder it is to heat that material,” said Welch.

Welch says despite the cold, contractors still have to get the work done on time. “They will bring in additional work forces or work you know additional hours, additional days,” he said.

Sutton understands the delay. “They have a dangerous enough job,” he said. “Let's not have them out there when people are driving on ice and so on getting in the way, so I have no problem with it.”

TDOT says contractors typically plan for winter weather.