By Jason Allen

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Short supplies of steel and concrete are starting to impact major infrastructure projects in North Texas, forcing project schedule changes as managers try to avoid long delays.

Rooted in some of the same pandemic production slowdowns affecting homebuilding, contractors have struggled to find supplies of light poles, traffic light signal arms and storm drain pipes.

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Prices have been rising as well, although several cities and project managers said contractors are absorbing many for the increased costs for now. Bids for some future projects though, are starting to inch up.

In some cases projects are able to adjust phases to limit the impact on completion. An expansion of Harmon Road in Fort Worth was impacted by the pipe supply, so work shifted to another phase until materials are in.

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A $3.5 million dollar intersection improvement on Hulen St. and Granbury Rd. on the south side of the city was supposed to start in April, but steel delays have pushed back the start of major construction.

“We’re just having to think outside the box and try to come up with solutions that have minimal if any impact on the schedule,” said Roy Teal, a capital projects officer for Fort Worth.

The NTExpress project, which is expanding I-35W and added managed toll lanes further north, is experiencing some challenges with concrete. Project managers though said they were working with suppliers to extend their lead times, and better forecast when they would need materials, and so far have avoided any schedule impacts.

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Arlington has had to extend its ordering times on sign posts and street light poles. It was requiring more planning by contractors, the city said, to time projects out.