Default delays major road projects
Longtime contractor abandons 20 state work sites, including three in Central Texas.
A longtime Rio Grande Valley road contractor in recent weeks has defaulted on more than 20 Texas Department of Transportation projects, including three major jobs in Central Texas.
Work has completely stopped on two of the three projects — new Interstate 35 overpasses at Lakeway Drive north of Georgetown and at Main Street in Buda — as TxDOT and bond insurance companies scramble to get other contractors. TxDOT officials said a few workers, possibly with a subcontractor, remain on a new interchange on the Texas 45 North tollway in Williamson County where it will connect with O’Connor Drive.
Ballenger Construction, based in Harlingen, notified TxDOT early this week that it was leaving the Central Texas projects after a several-month attempt to bring on substitute contractors failed, a TxDOT official said.
No one answered the phone at midafternoon Friday at Ballenger’s corporate headquarters. The San Antonio ExpressNews reported Friday that two former Ballenger employees said the company laid off workers Monday.
The $10.8 million Main Street project is nearly complete, TxDOT officials said. The O’Connor/45 North project — TxDOT is building the $24.7 million interchange after Williamson County built and paid for an $11.4 million extension of O’Connor from the north — is about 40 per-