Brooks Construction to repave early failing Indiana highway

Brooks Construction has agreed to repave part of a northern Indiana highway following state transportation department complaints that it started crumbling years earlier than expected.

Brooks Construction of Fort Wayne agreed to resurface a 3-mile stretch of Indiana 25 near Logansport, which was completed in 2012 and began falling apart last year, the highway agency said. Newly resurfaced roads are expected to last 20 years.

Officials had demanded Brooks repave the highway or refund $5 million it was paid, and the negotiations resulted in what the agency wanted — a newly paved road and no legal action, Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Manning told the Indianapolis Star.

Brooks will replace 5.5 inches, or three layers, of asphalt over the summer with a mixture that meets the department’s specifications.

Brooks Construction had maintained that its asphalt was approved by state inspectors.
John Brooks, the company’s executive vice president, said in a statement that he was pleased with the agreement.

“We are confident both parties will be proud of the finished project as will Hoosier motorists,” the statement said. “Going forward, INDOT has awarded us new contracts and we will remain an industry leader in providing products of the highest quality — just as we have for more than a century.”

The highway department asked another contractor last month to resurface recently completed road projects in or near Bloomington, Seymour, Richmond and North Vernon totaling about $1.6 million.
“Each road to some degree has premature cracking and is visibly aging,” Deputy Commissioner Robert Tally said of what the agency called improper asphalt mixtures done by Dave O’Mara Contractors of Mount Vernon.

Company vice president Dan O’Mara said the four road projects are fine and that asphalt testing will vindicate its work.

“We believe the roads are performing up to standards,” O’Mara said. “We’ve been doing this a long time and have been doing business with INDOT for 35 years.”

The largest of the four projects in dispute is a $765,000 repaving of U.S. 50 for 2.5 miles through Seymour. The others are a nearly 1 mile section of Indiana 3 in North Vernon, a 1.2-mile stretch of Salisbury Road in Richmond and an Indiana 37 exit ramp at Interstate 69 just south of Bloomington.

Indianapolis Star

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