Local News


CONTACT 13: Homeowners blame construction project for damage to homes

Posted at 10:55 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-20 14:45:54-04

Construction crews are accused of damaging some local homes. They're working on a sewer project that stretches across a major portion of the valley. And after finishing one section, homeowners say something stinks.

"They shook me out of bed at 7:30 in the morning... I thought we were having an earthquake. So I ran out and they were drilling out there," says homeowner Rita Hickey.
Rita lives on East Oquendo Road, near South Lamb Boulevard. And the drilling she's talking about was happening right in front of her house. 
She took pictures that show Las Vegas Paving working on what's called the Paradise-Whitney Interceptor. It's the county's largest sewer line expansion project in history and covers 13 miles with 3 different contractors working on it. 
Rita watched workers digging, and pumping water out of a hole, over several months.
"If you pump that much water out of the ground, the dirt has got to settle," says Rita. 
She says a crack appeared in her wall, after construction in her neighborhood ended back in January. So did a crack in her driveway.
"I'm afraid one day I'm going to drive up and find part of my driveway, my wall, everything on Oquendo Road," says Rita.
And she's not alone.
"We developed a bunch of new cracks," says Fay Bradford.
Rita's neighbor, Fay, showed us cracks in her walls. The most noticeable in her study.
"The vent has been forced out of the hole. I'm assuming because of the vibrations," says Fay.
She and Rita admit they're homes already had some cracks before this construction project. But both of these homeowners say the cracks are worse now. So they filed claims with Las Vegas Paving's insurance.
"And they denied it. And I don't understand how all 4 people in this cul-de-sac could all of a sudden be developing worse or new cracks all at the same time," says Fay.
We reached out to Las Vegas Paving. They tell Contact 13: "It is the policy of our company to not comment on any matter with either pending or the potential for litigation." 
So we went to Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow.
"It's a county project. But it's being carried out by the contractor. And our total expectation is that these will be taken care of," says Commissioner Scow.
She represents District G, where Fay and Rita live. And now that Las Vegas Paving has denied their claims, Scow says a lawsuit is an option.
"We don't want anybody to sustain any damage. And I'm very concerned when I hear that this is happening... Really the recourse is legal, since it's a legal contract," says Commissioner Scow.
Fay and Rita aren't sure what their next move will be. But Rita says she's scared about future damage.
"I'm afraid this is not over with. The ground is settling," says Rita.
Besides the cracks on her property, Rita's water bill jumped to nearly $900 in March. She blames the construction project for a major leak she had to pay for. 
We reached out to the Clark County Water Reclamation District, that oversees this project. 
In a statement they tell Contact 13: "While we don't anticipate construction problems arising, contractors performing work on any District project are required to carry insurance and indemnify the District.  If any damage occurs, we expect the contractor to thoroughly and fairly assess all claims and take appropriate and timely action. As a publicly funded project, we have the expectation that our customers receive prompt, fair and equitable consideration of their claims. If any damage is found to be caused by the contractor, they must take immediate action to get the repairs done."
Click here for more information on the Paradise-Whitney Interceptor project