Baton Rouge, La – Today, the sureties or bonding companies that hold the bond on the $86.2 million I-10 split to Siegen widening project have selected Boh Bros. Construction Co. of New Orleans as the new completion contractor to replace Austin Bridge & Road of Irving, Tx. Boh will team with James Construction Group of Baton Rouge to complete the project.
"Louisiana taxpayers deserve quality work in a timely manner," said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. "We have aggressively pushed for completion of this vital segment for the more than 100,000 commuters who drive this section daily. We feel a new completion contractor is the best course of action."
The I-10 split to Siegen job is one of 5 segments of I-10 and I-12 being widening under the state’s $315 million Geaux Wider program. The Louisiana DOTD Geaux Wider Program is a multi-year construction initiative designed to increase capacity, improve safety and enhance mobility along a combined total of nearly 20 miles of Interstates 10 and 12 in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.
Austin Bridge has continued to fall short on its contractually-required completion schedule. DOTD issued a letter to the bonding company requiring that Austin Bridge & Road be replaced as the completion contractor.
Boh is the current contractor for the project immediately adjacent to the split to Siegen section – Siegen to Highland. Therefore, Boh and its already-assembled takeover team can quickly and easily mobilize to push progress in this crucial segment of I-10. Boh’s team is currently on-site but will take full responsibility for the split to Siegen section on January 3, 2011.
"We understand the importance of this project to the public as well as to DOTD, and we are committed to maintaining an appropriate schedule," said Robert S. Boh, President of Boh Bros.
With an aggressive schedule and favorable weather conditions, Boh estimates the project will be completed in late 2012/early 2013. The project, originally slated to be completed early this year, moved to a fall 2012 completion date and was continuing to slip into mid-2013 prior to the takeover request made by DOTD.
"We have continued to insist upon quality work in a timely manner," said Chief Engineer Richard Savoie. "That’s what was promised when we signed the contract and we are holding the contractor, and now the surety, accountable for that."
Austin Bridge and its sureties will be liable for liquidated damages or penalties for work over the contracted time. Based on contracted time and the modified schedule, Austin Bridge will owe Louisiana taxpayers approximately $3.4 million at the time Boh completes the project.
"Based on our long standing relationship with Boh Brothers, we are confident that this project will be completed to the satisfaction of LaDOTD and the citizens of Louisiana" said Mike Bond, Head of Zurich Surety.
- In April 2011, DOTD sent a default and disqualification letter to Austin Bridge & Road. DOTD stated that Austin Bridge had not dedicated sufficient forces to finish the I-10 widening project on time.
- The default and disqualification designation prohibits Austin Bridge from bidding on new projects within Louisiana and required its bonding companies or sureties to present a takeover plan.
- 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.
- In a May 2011 meeting, the sureties informed DOTD officials of its choice to keep Austin Bridge as the completion contractor.
- In May 2011, at a follow-up meeting, the sureties submitted an initial plan which DOTD accepted contingent upon specific milestones being met. Austin Bridge initially met the obligations of the modified agreement.
- In November 2011, DOTD rescinded its approval of Austin Bridge & Road as the completion contractor for the I-10 split to Siegen job citing continued project delays.
- In December 2011, the sureties select Boh Bros. Construction Co. of New Orleans as the new completion contractor for the project. Boh teams with James Construction Group of Baton Rouge on the project.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).