QUESTIONABLE MODOT PRACTICES
August 24, 2011
During MoDOT's recent accelerated projects, some questionable practices took place. For example, millions were handed out to contractors in bonuses, and agreements were made obligating MoDOT to pay millions of dollars to partners if projects weren't completed by the promised dates.
The following case was written in a Hannibal newspaper this summer.
In 2006, MoDOT held a bid opening for the resurfacing and widening projects on Highway 72 from Route OO in Fredericktown to a mile west of Castor River in Madison Co (Job Number J0P0851), and from a half-mile east of Castor River to a half-mile west of Route 51 near Patton in Bollinger Co (Job Number J0P0847). Bids were received that were too high above MoDOT's estimate to be able to award the projects. MoDOT's Administration negotiated with the low bidder, Iron Mountain Trap Rock Co, to shave off over $1,000,000 of the proposed improvements so that the contractor’s bid would be revised within an acceptable range of MoDOT's estimate. The Highway Commission then awarded the contract to Iron Mountain Trap Rock Co in September 2006. The other contractors that initially submitted bids were not given a chance to modify their bids to compete for the project under the revised contract terms.
Needlessly handing out millions in Missouri tax money is disgraceful enough. But negotiating down a bid so that a particular contractor is awarded a project should be investigated by the proper authorities for it's legality.