Construction company to lose nearly $150K on bridge project

MARSHALL CO. — The company that rebuilt the 13th Road bridge a couple years ago won’t be fully paid for the project because it wasn’t completed on time. The project’s original completion date was July 2011. The bridge was finally finished in November 2011.
County Highway Department Superintendent Neal Haeck explained that Jack Isom Construction in Reynolds was hired to fix up the bridge — which needed significant work.
“The bridge was a box beam construction and it was coming apart,” said Haeck. “It was time to have it replaced.”
Isom experienced some delays from the beginning of the project.
“In Indiana, bats are an endangered species so before you start any construction project you have to have someone check to see if there are bats in the area,” said Haeck. “That was (Isom’s) first delay. The river was also high at one time, and they had a snow situation.”
Haeck said that the bridge project was scheduled by the county, but funded by federal money administered by the Indiana Department of Administration. DLZ Engineering was also hired by the county to oversee the project.
“We all work together to get the project done,” said Haeck. “(Before hiring Isom) we put our specifications together and sent out bids statewide. (Isom) was the lowest bid and at that time they had a good reputation.”
Haeck added that Isom Construction had never done work for the county before. Isom signed a contract agreeing to be docked $5,000 a day for any days past the original completion date that the project remained unfinished. Haeck said that at a recent meeting, representatives from INDOT, Isom, and himself came to an agreement that Isom would actually be charged $2,125 per day.
“The reason we lowered that amount is that if we didn’t, (the situation) would go before a judge,” said Haeck. “It needed to be finalized one way or another.”
He explained that Marshall County only paid for 10 percent of the project. Federal dollars covered the rest.
“INDOT was withholding the final money until we worked out the (late days) situation,” said Haeck. “Isom did get a little money back. But their whole project for the county cost less because they took too long to get it done.”
After taking out allowed days for weather considerations and other reasons, Haeck said Isom went 67 days past the date the bridge should have been done.
They will be charged a total of $142, 375 for taking extra time on the bridge. In this case, that amount will be taken out of Isom’s pay for the project.
Several phone calls to Jack Isom Construction were not returned Monday.
Haeck said that while it was a long time coming, the new bridge is better suited for county motorists.
“It’s a bigger, better, and stronger bridge,” said Haeck.