Blame game over construction fail that left pole in road; who's at fault?

This is at intersection of Pinehurst Avenue and East Par Street

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando drivers are still not able to use most of the right turn lane at the intersection of Pinehurst Avenue and East Par Street.

This is due to barricades and cones that are in place in the road.

At first, the barricades and cones kept drivers safe from a utility pole.

Now they block a large hole in the street from where the pole was.

So the pole is gone, there's a hole in the road and there's a ton of finger-pointing as to who is to blame for this.

A crew from Duke Energy worked to move the utility pole from the roadway Friday morning.

News 6 asked Duke Energy if it was aware that the road widening had been completed, and a spokesperson said in a statement:

"Duke Energy was not aware the construction barriers were being removed and the roadway re-opened. To ensure the safety of drivers, there are stringent safety protocols companies must follow while conducting construction activities within a roadway area. Duke Energy abides by those rules. When we learned what happened, our crews were immediately dispatched to remove the pole and provide a safer situation for drivers in that area."
That's where the finger-pointing blame game starts.

An Orlando spokesperson said the contractor hadn't requested a final inspection, and that final approval --which is needed to reopen the road -- was not given.

The city said an inspector had previously told the contractor that the pole needed to be removed before the final inspection could be completed.

The contractor, who didn't want to go on camera, said the company has been coordinating with Duke Energy.

This statement was sent to News 6 from the contractor:

"The turn lane portion of the Pinehurst Road is a permitted part of the overall development and is planned to officially open within the next several weeks.  We've been coordinating with Duke Energy on the pole relocation in order finish up the necessary requirements to schedule the final inspections with the City.   As of today, the pole has been removed and the barricades re-installed.  As always we are committed to following all local building and are delighted to be part of this community."

A spokesperson for Duke Energy said the company was not aware the construction barriers were being removed and the road reopened.

The city of Orlando said when they learned the road was reopened without proper approval, they sent crews to put up barricades to keep drivers safe.

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