The state has aggressively pursued holding contractor, Austin Bridge and Road, accountable for the lack of progress they have made on the $86.2 million I-10 split to Siegen widening project. The project, originally slated to be completed this year, now holds a fall 2012 completion date.
Austin has continued to fall short on its contractually-required completion schedule. DOTD issued a letter to the bonding company requiring that Austin Bridge and Road be replaced as the completion contractor. A new completion contractor will be announced by Christmas and DOTD is working with the bonding company to ensure that no additional delays occur.
· In April 2011, DOTD sent a default and disqualification letter to Austin Bridge and Road, the contractor for the $86.2 million I-10 split to Siegen widening project. DOTD stated that Austin Bridge and Road had not dedicated sufficient forces to finish the I-10 widening project on time.
· The default and disqualification designation prohibits Austin Bridge and Road from bidding on new projects within Louisiana and required its bonding agent, Federal Insurance Company, to present a takeover plan to ensure this project was completed in the contracted time.
· In May 2011, DOTD officials met with the bonding company or surety regarding the issues with the project. Based on the issuance of the default letter, it now falls upon the surety to ensure the project is completed to DOTD engineers’ satisfaction in a timely manner. The surety had chosen to keep Austin Bridge and Road as the contractor.
· At a follow-up meeting, the bonding agent submitted an initial plan which DOTD accepted contingent upon specific milestones being met. Austin Bridge and Road initially met the obligations of the modified agreement.
· In November 2011, DOTD rescinded its approval of Austin Bridge and Road as the completion contractor for the I-10 split to Siegen job citing continued project delays.