The Alabama Department of Transportation has hired W.G. Yates Construction to take over the contract for the parkway which will eventually connect Interstate 20 with U.S. 431 and Alabama 21 north of downtown Anniston. Mississippi-based L&T Construction was relieved of the job after delays which the company claims were due to the design and which ALDOT said were the fault of the contractor.
Tony Harris, spokesman for ALDOT, said calling the issues a difference of opinion was “putting it lightly.” But Harris declined to go into detail.
Harris said Yates, based in Philadelphia, Miss., will assess where the project stands before estimating a completion date. However, Harris thinks the project can still be brought in for the $29 million that L&T originally bid on the project.
“Typically what happens is when a replacement contractor is provided, they work under the same contract,” Harris said, adding, “There could be things that come up over the course of resuming construction that would require supplemental agreements.”
In order to increase the value of the contract, both parties — ALDOT and the new contractor — would have to agree to the supplemental agreements, Harris said.
The contract for the final leg of the bypass around Anniston was funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus package. It was the long-awaited end to a project approved by Congress in 1998 and begun in early 2001. The first 1.33-mile section of the road, from I-20 to Greenbrier-Dear Road, opened in late 2003. But completion of the road was delayed along the way, and then, along came the stimulus dollars bringing new hope for the project.
Star staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545.