Delay in Queen Wilhelmina Lodge Renovation Irks Parks & Tourism

Maybe you heard that there were some delays in the $7.4 million renovation and expansion of the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge.

Wade Abernathy Inc. of Mount Ida (Montgomery County) was put on notice in March by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism. The agency’s unhappiness with the general contractor’s work and progress on the state park project hasn’t improved.

State officials have called the company’s performance bond provided by Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America in Hartford, Conn.

The job is about 60 percent complete and ought to be finished by early December, according to the state’s performance expectations.

We’re told by our insider that Wade Abernathy estimates it will be sometime during the first quarter of 2014 before the job will be finished.

“This hasn’t just happened overnight,” said Richard Davies, executive director of Parks & Tourism. “We expected it to be opened soon, and it isn’t close to being finished. And this becomes a revenue issue for us.”

Wade Abernathy Inc. ranked No. 20 among the list of the state’s largest commercial contractors with revenue of $21.3 million in 2011. The company didn’t report its 2012 numbers.

A call to Wade Abernathy Sr. about the situation went unreturned.