Thursday, March 1, 2018
Dumb DOT decision destroying small businesses
From Eyewitness News:
A group of small businesses in Queens are furious that a construction project outside their doors is delayed, costing them customers.
Cars seem to sit forever idling away the time, waiting for the traffic agents to finally wave them through.
The construction started more than a year ago, and a few months ago work just stopped. Nobody knows when it might start up again.
The Department of Transportation issued a statement about the construction project:
"As you know, safety is our number one priority. Mugrose was determined to be the lowest responsible bidder per NYC PPB rules, and their experience and qualifications were deemed satisfactory per NYC PPB rules. Mugrose also explained their bid numbers to DOTs satisfaction; therefore they were awarded the bid. The contractor was in default of the terms of performance in the contract, and the contractor's bonding agency is in the process of rebidding the project to a contractor who will complete remaining work. Discussions continue with all involved parties and a new schedule will be submitted after the new firm is under contract."
“The contractor was suspect because of not having done contracts like this, not having the staff to do this, we felt,” Queens City Councilman Robert Holden said. “When you have a low bidder that’s $3 million less on a $20 million job, that has to send up a red flag.”
Tony Nunziato, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, said the DOT "should have done more research on the contractor."
Mugrose Construction, based in West Caldwell, New Jersey, is listed on some websites as primarily a home builder with a staff of five employees.
Two New Jersey bridge projects it’s worked on were both late in being finished.
In the meantime, conditions are deteriorating on the 100-year-old bridge above the Long Island Railroad tracks.
Concrete is buckling and crumbling, and metal plates cover the many holes in the pavement. The replacement of the bridge deck is an emergency, according to the DOT.
Local officials say they’ve heard that for years.
“It is a nightmare and it's ongoing,” Holden said. “I’m calling for an investigation.”
We’ll keep you posted.