January 4, 2018
ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen
In addition to reading 'No More Dumping,' an electronic sign on U.S. 1 in Marathon warns residents that criminal charges may apply if caught adding to debris piles in the roadway.
ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen In addition to reading 'No More Dumping,' an electronic sign on U.S. 1 in Marathon warns residents that criminal charges may apply if caught adding to debris piles in the roadway.
With a looming deadline, state contractors do not appear to be close to completing hurricane debris removal along U.S. 1.
Florida Department of Transportation contractors agreed about a month ago to have Hurricane Irma debris cleared from U.S. 1 and crews out of the Keys by Jan. 16.
However, there is still plenty of debris along U.S. 1 and County Commissioner George Neugent doubts the contractor, MCM, will make the deadline.
“I am not confident at all,” said Neuget, who represents residents from Marathon through Big Coppitt Key, the hardest hit area. “They (MCM) have been a major disappointment. … They have no experience in this. They should not have been the choice.”
MCM agreed to have a crew start in Marathon and work there and another on Big Pine Key and start working south, Neugent said. MCM has not even started in Marathon and Neugent was unclear how much the company has completed in the Marathon area, Neugent said.'
If MCM has not even started in Marathon, how could Neugent be unclear about how much MCM has completed in the Marathon area? 
Neither MCM public safety officer Eddie Martinez nor FDOT returned telephone and email messages on Wednesday.
The county still has its own contractor removing debris from county roads in the Lower Keys. More than 2 million cubic yards of debris has been removed so far, county spokeswoman Cammy Clark said. 

Actually, the county government has made very little progress, in some lower keys neighborhoods, no progress, in removing Hurricane Irma debris.
tohara@keysnews.com