Cape homeowner fights UEP damage, has advice for others

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A local homeowner is sending out a warning to anyone about to go through the Utilities Expansion Project (UEP).

Eric Pearson says construction caused thousands of dollars in damage to his home.

Multiple homeowners claim vibrations caused by construction crews have caused cracks in their homes. The UEP work in southwest Cape is almost finished but construction will soon start in north Cape. The same issues could soon plague a whole new set of homeowners.

Pearson took us around his home, showing us crack after crack at the base of windows, in his lanai floor, and even inside his bedroom.

“Extremely frustrating. Every day as you saw inside my bedroom I’ve got cracks and outside, every time I go outside, I see them,” said Pearson.

Pearson says it will cost at least $5,000 to fix. He says UEP construction in his neighborhood over the past year would shake his house violently, causing the cracks.

“We’re talking earthquake-like type movements. You would think that it was enough that your house would fall down, it was substantial.”

The city says only about 1% of homes in UEP zones see construction-related damage. But the city will be looking into whether changes need to be made in the types of machinery and equipment that are used by contractors.

The contractor, not the city, is ultimately responsible for damages.

Pearson says he’s in talks with the contractor to get money to make repairs to his home and he has advice for any homeowners that may find themselves in a similar situation.

“The best thing I can say is immediately, when they start, document the work when they start on your street. If you see any vibrations or damages, document those, make the calls to the people you need to make calls to, because without that documentation, who knows where you’ll be at.”

If you’re in a UEP zone and you think your home has been damaged, the first step is to call the City of Cape Coral Citizens Action Center at 239-574-0425.

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