Metro Councilman calls Publix construction project ‘a nightmare’

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Councilman Colby Sledge took to Twitter on Sunday morning after complaints continued to pile in about the 8th Avenue Publix construction project.

Sledge says neighbors in that area have brought to his attention several violations at the site, including construction work on Sundays and heavy equipment blocking the local streets.

“I have spent more time in Metro resources going out there and inspecting this site than nearly any other construction site in the district I represent, and just a reminder, my district includes the soccer stadium.  This site is horrible, just absolutely terrible,” Sledge said.

On Sunday morning Metro code inspectors issued a stop work order on the site. But News 2 received reports from neighbors that construction did not hault after the order was issued.

“This Friday, two days ago, the codes department told this site you are not to work on Sundays. So they can’t say they forgot, they can’t say they don’t understand. They know,” Sledge said.  “And yet I drive by this site before 8 a.m. this morning and a giant forklift rambling down the road for this site.  They’ve got trucks open, parked on the road. It’s just, it’s a total mess.”

News 2 reached out to Benning Construction Company out of Atlanta for a comment on the complaints. They released a statement that reads:

In accordance with the local ordinance, prior to today, Benning Construction Company had advised all forces on site that work on Sunday was not allowed. It is Company policy to comply with all state, Federal, and local codes and to work as well with the local community. As the project was officially ‘Closed’ today, we were very surprised to find out that a  subcontractor crew ignored our instruction and the local ordinance and were working on site. Upon being made aware of this, I personally went to the job site to stop any construction work. The actions of this crew are unacceptable to us, and those involved will face appropriate discipline.

As a 67 year old, employee owned general contractor, we make it a point to do our best to work with all levels of the community and government in our efforts to complete a project. We will be reaching out to the appropriate parties to determine how we move forward from here and what changes we may implement to better work within the community.

Ryce A. Elliott, Benning Construction Company

“Publix makes a big deal about saying shopping is a pleasure, but this site is a nightmare,” Sledge said. “It is a complete nightmare. And neighbors are fed up, I’m fed up with it.  And this out of town construction company that has been violating all of Nashville’s rules needs to get out and Publix needs to fix this.”

Sledge reached out to Publix via Twitter and was in communication with representatives to get answers on the project. News 2 also reached out to the grocery store on Twitter and emailed their corporate communications team for a response.

“It’s really bad for a company when an elected official has to go out to Twitter to tell them they’re causing damage to the community they’re supposedly wanting to serve. Publix needs to get its house in order and they need to get this site fixed now,” Sledge said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

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