Florida Department of Transportation District Seven Secretary David Gwynn recently gave an update on the status of state road projects that recently halted operations.
Gwynn gave the update during the Aug. 12 board meeting of the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The Pasco MPO — made up of representatives of Pasco County, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Port Richey and New Port Richey — is the lead transportation planning agency in Pasco County.
Gwynn told the MPO board members: “We had seven projects in our district, three of them in Pasco County, that DAB Contractors either were defaulted on — which was the DDI (Diverging Diamond Interchange) — or self-defaulted, which included State Road 52 and State Road 54.
“After that occurred, we met with our surety company — more or less the bondholder.
“I can tell you the surety has been very responsive so far,” he said.
He expressed confidence that once the surety company awards a bid on the contract, the contractor will “try to get this project not only going, but accelerating as quickly as possible.”
Gwynn also noted: “We’re also working with our maintenance contractor to ensure that the project sites are secured. I’ve noticed recently that some of the vegetation in some of the areas is starting to grow pretty high, so we’re out there with our forces, mowing them. In fact, we’re doing (State Road) 54, I think, today.
“The surety has let me know the direction they’ve given their people is that they need to get these contracts going as soon as possible because they’re also held to the same penalties as DAB would have been held to for being late. In other words, the end date of the contract doesn’t change. They’ll get penalized for every day they don’t meet, based on that original contract.
“I’m very optimistic that very soon we’ll have contractors on board working on those projects.
“When you look at some of the other construction projects we have around in Pasco County and around the district, a lot of the contractors are ahead of schedule. The State Road 52 realignment project is almost a year ahead of schedule, with Superior Construction.
“The Overpass Road Interchange is ahead of construction, so I think there’s capacity out there to get other good contractors and get these jobs moving forward.”
Kris Carson, spokeswoman for the FDOT District Seven Office, provided an Aug. 13 update regarding the status of the projects.
The surety company and the FDOT have executed a takeover agreement regarding the diverging diamond project, as of Aug. 12, according to Carson’s update.
The receipt of bids for the project had been scheduled for Aug. 12, but was moved back to Aug. 18, to provide more information and give more contractors an opportunity to compete for the work.
Mowing and general maintenance has been completed throughout the project limits.
Also, the number of temporary traffic control devices have been reduced to the minimum required to maintain a safe work zone, the update adds.
Regarding the State Road 52 project, from Suncoast Parkway to U.S. 41: A representative with the surety met with an FDOT representative onside to assess the status of the project, on Aug. 11. The FDOT has completed uploading all of the documentation requested by the surety and the takeover documents are with the surety, for its execution.
Regarding the widening of State Road 54, from Curley Road to Morris Bridge Road: A representative with the surety met with a FDOT representative onsite to assess the status of the project, on Aug. 11. The FDOT has completed uploading all of the project documentation requested by the surety. The takeover documents are currently with the surety for its execution.
The FDOT has completed mowing throughout the project area. Additional maintenance of driveway access to business on the west side of Eiland/State Road 54 is planned to be completed within the next two weeks, according to the Aug. 13 update.
The surety will be responsible for meeting the original contract requirements, and the FDOT retains the responsibility to ensure the surety meets its obligations, the FDOT document adds.
Published August 18, 2021