TARBORO – Replacement contractors have been secured to resume work on four stalled bridge contracts in Edgecombe and Halifax counties.
In the spring, the N.C. Department of Transportation declared National Bridge Builders LLC, of Kernersville, to be in default of four separate contracts to replace several bridges, mostly in Edgecombe County. The company had removed its equipment and crews and ceased work, effectively abandoning the work sites after the old bridges had been demolished.
Thus, the department was forced to terminate the contracts after exhausting all other efforts. When that happened, the bonding company used by National Bridge Builders was required to secure replacement contractors to finish the job, at no additional expense to NCDOT. The breach of contracts, however, has delayed the reopening of the roads.
The bonding company has recently notified NCDOT of the following replacement contractors and updated construction schedules for the affected sites:
- Three bridges clustered together over Swift Creek on Seven Bridges Road in Edgecombe County. S.T. Wooten Corp. will start in September and reopen the road by May 2023.
- N.C. 122/N.C. 111 bridge over Town Creek north of Pinetops in Edgecombe County. Sanford Contractors will start this month and reopen the road by March 2023.
- N.C. 97 over Swift Creek north of Tarboro in Edgecombe County. Sanford Contractors will begin this month and reopen the road by May 2023
- N.C. 561 bridge over Conocannara Swamp in Halifax County. Sanford Contractors will begin in September and reopen the road by June 2023.
The NCDOT rarely terminates a contract after it has been awarded, and the agency does so only after exhausting all efforts to keep the contractor on schedule. The agency requires bonding companies in its contracts to protect the taxpayers in the event of a breach of contract.