Construction crews hoping to get Phase II of the Sanborn Boulevard project started have been met with a few complications recently, slowing down its progress.

That’s according to Project Manager Jeff McCormick of SPN & Associates, who provided an update on the project during the Mitchell City Council meeting Monday at City Hall.

“They’ve been working on the boring underneath the railroad tracks, and it has not gone as well as they hoped,” McCormick said to the council. “They’ve hit a lot of cobblestone rock on the bottom part of the bore with the softer material on top, so the bore keeps wanting to try and get out of the rock.”

Boring is a drilling method used to install utility pipelines and conduits. According to McCormick, Phase II of the project has technically started with the boring and drilling work. Because Phase II encompasses complete reconstruction of water and sewer utilities, the boring process is being done by H&W Contracting, of Sioux Falls.

Sequence one of the project is taking place in the area of West First Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard and has been in progress since mid-April. The initial timeline for the sequence’s completion was May 31, but due to April snow, heavy rainfall and the recent complications crews have experienced, McCormick said the timeline has been slowed down.

According to McCormick, sanitary, sewer and water utility work within the sequence is roughly four weeks away from completion, which he said spans the Dry Run Creek area from Edmunds Street to First Avenue.

“We ran into an old water pipe and that slowed us down for an entire day,” McCormick said. “We had to cut it out and make sure it was OK, but they’re moving forward now.”

According to McCormick, it was an abandoned old cast iron water pipe that crews hit during the boring process, lopping on another day for the project’s anticipated completion.

The first sequence work is part of the larger Phase II project, which entails reconstruction on Sanborn between First and Seventh avenues. That also includes sidewalk, curb and gutter work.

The $4.7 million Phase II is slated to wrap up in October, but it’s possible the initial project completion date could be pushed back in light of the recent issues, McCormick said.

In response, McCormick said project leaders have obtained permission from the railroad to start digging on the southside of the Sanborn Boulevard and the railroad, which will help crews move more quickly through the rock.