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Construction More Than A Roadblock For Some North Texas Homeowners

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Unless you happen to enjoy traveling at a snail's pace – dust flying, tractor-trucks growling and fellow motorists swearing – the LBJ freeway in North Dallas is not a fun place to be right now.

That's why most travelers try to avoid the construction in that area, known as the "LBJ Express Project."

But for more than 100 homeowners, there is no avoiding the mess…they live nearly on top of it. And they blame the project's main contractor, Trinity Infrastructure, for their foundation problems and cracked walls and driveways.

"You see the crack here? It's everywhere. Every room has some type of damage," said Jack Hebert, whose home backs up to the massive construction.

Homeowner Nuri Valdez also experienced problems, saying, "You had cabinets rattling …you had glassware rattling and windows that would be rattling … everything was just shaking."

Valdez and Hebert told I-Team reporter Mireya Villarreal they were getting nowhere with their complaints until they and other homeowners banded together, meeting each week at a church or restaurant to share stories about damage to their homes.

Now more than 100 members strong, the group received a letter from a law firm representing Trinity Infrastructure. In part, the letter said the company "takes the complaints …raised seriously" and plans to "thoroughly investigate each of them."

The I-Team has found that the contractor has opened up a new investigation into the homeowners' complaints.

Trinity Infrastructure sent the I-Team a statement that said, in part: "We take every homeowner complaint seriously. We have opened an investigation and are working with each homeowner to address their specific complaints…"

"We strive to mitigate the impact of construction activities in residential areas," the statement said, "but with a project this size, it is unavoidable that some individuals will be inconvenienced during construction…"

Calling it "one of the largest highway projects in the world," Trinity Infrastructure said in their statement the work would have to continue at night, against the wishes of some homeowners, "in order to comply with our contractual obligations to the State of Texas and minimize disruption to the more than 250,000 vehicles that pass through the corridor each day …"

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the project, declined a request for an interview with the I-Team and referred all questions to Trinity Infrastructure.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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