Wichita Falls continues to work to complete the nearly 25 miles of Circle Trail around the city, however, that dream and goal that began about 20 years ago has suffered a setback after city councilors found the contractor for the latest phase of the Hike and Bike Trail in breach of contract.
Mega Prime Contractors, Inc. of the metroplex was given nearly $1.3 million to complete the trail from Seymour Highway to Lucy Park — in the Wichita Bluff area.
“And they authorized the city manager to enter in an execution of said contract with the company,” Wichita Falls City Attorney, Kinley Hegglund, said.
The company was given more than a year to complete the trail, but has only completed 52 percent of the project. The city also said the contractor failed to make repairs in a timely manner and said that he lacked the money to finish.
Since the city had a bond on the project, it will no be out any money and the surety bond company will now make sure the project gets finished.
“A surety company issues a performance bond and that performance bond… they’re guaranteeing that if the contractor is unable to perform the project, that they will take it over. And we’re gonna be asking them to do that and they will also have the option to hire another company to come in and finish the work,” Hegglund said.
Or another option would be the bond company negotiating a cash payment to the city.
“It’s time to open it up to everybody in Wichita Falls so…. disappointed is not enough. I think I’m just extremely disappointed that we’re not going to see this happen right away,” Hotter’N Hell Hundred Chairman, Roby Christie, said.
Parks and Recreation Director, Jack Murphy, said most of the bids for previous sections of trail went to local contractors and it’s rare the city has to take this action when a city project is not completed.
“And of course we’re disappointed that the project wasn’t completed as planned, however we’re moving forward,” Jack Murphy said.
The city attorney estimates it will take over a month to work this out with the bonding company and the parks and recreation department said the actual work to complete the project could take several months.