13th Road bridge construction 80 days late

PLYMOUTH — For more than a year, Jack Isom Construction, based in Reynolds, has been working rebuilding the 13th Road bridge over the Yellow River.

The original completion date of July 13 was extended three times by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), landing on a final date of August 9. Since the work is still not done, Isom Construction is currently being charged $5,000 in liquidated damages daily.

The project is only 60 percent complete, and may not be finished until Oct. 28—80 days behind the original completion date. In this case, Isom Construction will be charged a total of $400,000 by INDOT for damages.

Jeff Million, DLZ construction observer manager, and Tom Stoffl, DLZ field service manager, visited the county commissioners meeting Monday to give an update on the bridge’s status.

“They’re doing good work — they’re just slow,” commented Stoffl. “They should have got stuff done last fall and they didn’t.”

In an interview later, Million stated that he believes above normal rain, flooding of the Yellow River, and other factors contributed to the major delay in the construction, especially since the workers were not used to the unpredictable rise and fall of the water level.

However, Million also said that the crew should have been able to finish by their original completion date in July.

“They got behind last fall and they just can’t make it up,” said Million. “They are past the point where they could make it up.”

Million said that Isom Construction was attempting to get more time for the project but their requests were denied by INDOT. Million believes that the the company may try to take the matter to court over the liquidated damages charges.

This week, workers are focusing on setting structural beams for the bridge and reinforcing steel for the bridge deck will be placed in the next month. The deck should be poured by Sept. 20.

Million said that while Isom Construction will not be banned from working in Marshall County again, he doubts that they will bid for future jobs in the area because of their bad experience.