Cardi Corp. stopped work as of Oct. 27 on its $116.5-million general contract for a total $139-million Massachusetts highway interchange improvement project in Taunton. The move left the job, which involves routes 24 and 140, in limbo as the state works with the contractor’s surety bonding company to hire a replacement.

“There’s no substantial quality issues with the work performed to date that would require the work to be redone,” says John Goggin, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Dept. of Transportation (MassDOT). The project is about 23% complete, he adds.

The Warwick, R.I.-based Cardi did not immediately respond to inquiries.

But Goggin says MassDOT is now in discussions with Cardi’s bonding company to complete the project under a takeover agreement with a replacement contractor. Any additional costs between the value of Cardi’s $116.5-million contract would be the responsibility of the bonding company, Goggin says, though he did not immediately provide the name of the firm.

Also, Goggin could not say how much the shutdown and a search for a replacement contractor would affect the schedule.  

Work on the interchange improvement project includes replacing three bridges, building new ramps and wall structures, widening the roads and more. Cardi received a notice to proceed effective February 2021. Work was scheduled to continue until June 2027.

Cardi is a family-owned contractor founded in the early 1900s that has been a significant regional player specializing in heavy highway, site and utility work. It has served as the general contractor on projects such as the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation (RIDOT)’s Interstate 95 and I-95 relocation project, completed in 2009. In 2021, Cardi ranked Number 385 on the ENR Top 400 Contractors list. 

Earlier this year, Cardi said in a statement to Providence, R.I., NBC affiliate WJAR that it had “encountered cash flow issues as a result of design problems, work delays and resequencing on some of our projects,” but it was working through the difficulties with assistance from its surety. WJAR then reported in July that the contractor had fallen behind schedule on RIDOT's $164.5 million Route 37 improvements project.

RIDOT now expects the Route 37 project to wrap up next summer, about one year later than originally scheduled, says a spokesperson. The department's project managers have been working with Cardi's bonding authority to ensure the contractor's projects are completed on budget, and it has subcontractors in place to complete the work.

MassDOT received eight bids for the Taunton work in 2020, records show. Cardi’s $116.5-million bid came in the lowest. The others ranged from $125.8 million to $154.9 million.