Sunshine Bridge reconditioning, roadwork across state defaulted on by company with history of costly delays

Company with history of delays for public works projects sent default letters by state

(WAFB) - Letters signed by Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) officials appear to show Coastal Bridge defaulted on six public works projects across Louisiana in early February.

The six projects were identified in the letters, which were released to WAFB as part of a public records request.

They are named below:

  • Reconditioning on the Mississippi River Bridge (Sunshine Bridge) in St. James. Coastal Bridge was awarded $6,601,191.50, which was later increased by $4,533,138.14 to a total approved contract price of $11,134,329.64. See full list of work here.
  • Repairs to bridges over the Vermillion River located on routes: LA 3073, LA 733, LA 92, LA 182, LA 14-X, and LA 14 in Lafayette and Vermillion parishes. Coastal Bridge was awarded $1,860,000.
  • Reconditioning on the Bayou Choctaw Bridge in Iberville parish. Coastal Bridge was awarded $2,799,794.19, which was later increased by change order to an adjusted contract price of $2,922,177.32. See full list of work here.
  • I-12 widening and work on the Satsuma ramps in Livingston Parish. Coastal Bridge was awarded $9,935,570.88, which was increased by $588,361.90 to a total approved contract price of $10,523,932.78.
  • Maintenance work at LA 327 (River Road) between LA 327-S (at the L’Auberge roundabout) to the East Baton Rouge/Iberville parish line. Coastal Bridge was awarded $589,550, records show.
  • I-12 and I-10 patching in East Baton Rouge Parish. Coastal Bridge was awarded $15,987,539.64, which was increased to an adjusted contract price of $20,140,317.43.

The state has had contracts with Coastal Bridge since 2012, including repairing the damaged Sunshine Bridge.

The company racked up thousands in fines on projects, but was still able to continue getting state contracts because the public bid law is written in such a way that the lowest bidder is awarded the project.

As long as Coastal and other contractors had the surety bonds to cover the fines, they could continue bidding.

Because Coastal Bridge defaulted on the six listed contracts, the company is currently disqualified from bidding or sub-contracting on other DOTD projects. The company can appeal the disqualification.

Coastal Bridge executive Kelly Sills did not respond to attempts to reach him.

In an unrelated lawsuit, two companies claim Coastal Bridge owes over $1.5 million for supplies purchased to complete projects.

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