Struggling Astaldi Announces Defaults on Florida Highway Contracts
Astaldi Construction Corp. announced on March 28 that it was voluntarily defaulting on four contracts with the Florida Dept. of Transportation. Included among those was a $108.3-million contract covering the 3.5-mile-long Section 7A for the $1.6-billion Wekiva Parkway project. Astaldi’s default on that project comes nearly a year after the contractor commenced work on April 1, 2018.
The Wekiva Parkway Section 7A contract, located in Seminole County, near Orlando, will construct a tolled section featuring an elevated parkway and includes numerous bridges and roundabouts. FDOT says the Wekiva contract’s scheduled completion target of summer 2022 will remain in place.
The other FDOT contracts that Astaldi voluntarily defaulted from included: a widening and resurfacing project for a section of S.R. 528 (Beachline) in Orange County; a bridge replacement at County Road 409A in Citrus County; and an expansion and reconstruction of US 301 in Hillsborough County.
As a result of the default, the projects “are now the responsibility of the surety bond companies,” says FDOT spokesperson Steve Olson. The four sureties include: American Home Assurance Co.; Zurich American Insurance Co.; Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland; and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
“FDOT is working with the sureties to make sure the most qualified contractors take over the projects as soon as possible,” the agency said in a press statement. “That process has already started. Both FDOT and the sureties are committed to ensuring there is little to no impact on the projects to get them completed by the respective deadlines.”
For the Wekiva contract, FDOT says the surety will be requesting bids from firms that submitted in 2017. Two of those firms, Superior Construction Co. Southeast, and Lane Construction Corp.—whose original bids ranked fourth and fifth, respectively—are currently working on nearby contracts. Other original bidders include Saccyr Construccion SA, SEMA Construction and Prince Contracting, among others.
Last October, Italy-based Astaldi filed for creditor protection in Italy, citing financial woes related to a project in Turkey, among other issues, Seeking Alpha reported.
4/11 — This story was updated with information about additional projects not included in the original post.