VERIFY: Did construction workers build a doghouse instead of a road?

A Temple man posted a photo on Facebook Thursday, suggesting construction delays near General Bruce Drive in Temple were caused by construction workers building a dog house instead of working on the road.

The post said "This is why the frontage road on General Bruce is taking forever!!! Anybody else need a doghouse."

Some Facebook commenters were quick to criticize the workers.

One wrote: "Crazy!!! Get the roads fixed!!!" -- while another wrote "Really???? They need to work on that on their own time and get the curbs in place!!!!"

The outrage prompted Channel 6 to verify the story behind the post.

We reached out to Jodi Wheatley, a spokesperson for TxDOT in Central Texas, and asked her about the photo.

Wheatley said the three workers in the image had used their lunch hours to build the doghouse from some scrap lumber the contractor allowed them to have. They built the doghouse for a stray dog that one of the men had rescued from the week's cold and wet weather.

"They can do whatever they want during their breaks," Wheatley said. "Since it is their lunch time, they are not being paid for the time they used to make the doghouse."

While Wheatley admitted progress had been slower than anticipated, she said it was because crews had to move a water line that was in danger of breaking if left in the new right-of-way area.

"If we didn’t move the line, businesses and homes in that area would be without water when the line broke," Wheatley explained in an email. "Things like moving water and utility lines have to be coordinated between a number of different people/companies, etc., and can be very time-consuming"

So, we can verify construction crews did build a doghouse. But, they did it on their own time, with resources that were donated to them by the contractor. And, those workers were not the reason for the delays.

SOURCE: Jodi Wheatley - Spokesperson, TxDOT Waco District

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