INDOT Investigating Work On Almost 200 Road Projects

Sep 29, 2015

Credit Brian Hefele / https://www.flickr.com/photos/brhefele/6973020335

INDOT says a demand that a Fort Wayne contractor replace or pay for allegedly substandard asphalt isn't necessarily a sign of similar cases to come.

INDOT is testing asphalt on nearly 200 road projects performed by 44 different contractors, including additional projects by Brooks Construction of Fort Wayne.

“Instead of just looking at the surface layers, we’re assessing the layers underneath by basically dropping a weight on the pavement and then assessing how the pavement springs back,” says Spokesman Will Wingfield. “That’ll tell us how long it will, you know, survive under the loads of traffic. So to do that on all these 188 contracts it’s going to take several months.”

Wingfield says just because blacktop on State Road 25 flunked INDOT's tests, doesn't mean the agency is assuming other Brooks projects are bad.

But Wingfield says INDOT considers the problems on 25 to be obvious.

“If you look at the pavement on State Road 25 in Cass County, it’s failing after three years of being open to traffic,” says Wingfield. “Usually these pavements last for about 20 years so we’re holding them accountable for that.”

Wingfield says the agency doesn't believe there's any problem with the state’s specifications. If Brooks disputes INDOT's allegations, the state can seize the performance bond contractors.

That could likely lead to a court fight over who's at fault.