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Column: Roundabouts at Sisk Ave./Hwy 7 a True Oxford Success Story

By David Blackburn
CEO, Blackburn Group LLC

David Blackburn

With the new roundabouts at Sisk Avenue and the Highway 7 interchange now open, I’d like to share the success story of these new roundabouts.

Originally, the contractors were supposed to start the day after school got out on May 25 and finish on August 4. We had several different contractors look at the project and all were very concerned about completing it in this 72-day window. After several meetings, Lee Marquis and his team at M&N Excavators agreed to be the lead contractor on the job and find a way to make it happen in this 72-day window.

We then hit a major snag where we couldn’t start work until June 18 leaving Lee and his crew only 48 days to have the roundabouts back open. Lee and his team worked seven days a week starting at 4 a.m. many days and working until 9 p.m. at night. 

Lee, who is the owner of the company, was personally on the job site working alongside his men every day making sure it would happen. In addition, other local subcontractors under Lee also stepped up. Specifically, Michael Ellis had his team at Lehman Roberts who open up the asphalt plant both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend just for this project.

Ray Yates and his men with Tri Lakes Asphalt worked tirelessly over the last seven days to place the asphalt. Kevin McLeod and his team at Elliott & Britt along with Oxford COO Bart Robinson, City Engineer Reanna Mayoral, and Director of Development Services Hollis Green were instrumental in removing obstacles that came up to keep us on schedule. 

It was basically an entirely local workforce of 50 people every day dedicated to finding a way to get this intersection open for election day on Aug. 6, and school starting on Aug. 7.

Redoing an intersection like this typically takes six to nine months to complete and you would have to outsource it to an out-of-town company who brought in a skilled workforce from out of town to complete it.

We were asking a lot when we were trying to complete this in the summer starting May 25 in 72 days. Our Oxford workforce led by Lee Marquis and his team performed an absolute miracle in getting this intersection back open in 48 total days.

With all of the negative news every day, this is a true success story of our skilled local workforce going above and beyond and doing an incredible job. These 50 workers sacrificed not seeing their families for the last two months for the betterment of our community.

We are so very fortunate to have these companies and 50 workers a part of our community. 

David Blackburn is the CEO of Blackburn Group and is the lead developer in Oxford Commons.

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