WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALDOT’S MISHANDLING OF A $2B PROJECT BEYOND THE TOLL ISSUE!
>ALDOT HAS BEEN REMISS IN NOT DOING A BETTER JOB SEEKING FEDERAL FUNDS
>ALDOT’S ARROGANCE ABOUT NOT TRYING TO FIND FUNDING WAS ON DISPLAY WHEN DIRECTOR COOPER WAS ASKED ABOUT TALKING TO OUR STATE OFFICALS.
>JIM ZEIGLER FOUND THAT ONE OF THE COMPANIES THAT WAS INCLUDED IN THE ALDOT APPROVED “SHORT LIST” FOR THIS PROJECT HAD ABANDONED 4 PROJECTS IN FLORIDA—WHY SHOULD BE ACCEPT ALDOT’S CREDIBILITY WHEN THEY NOT ONLY ARE AT FAULT FOR NOT SEEKING FED FUNDING, BUT CAN’T EVEN PROPERLY VET POTENTIAL PARTNERS IN THE PROJECT!
>>WHY DID ALDOT NOT EVEN MENTION “EZPASS” AS A MEANS TO GIVE LOCALS A BIGGER BREAK ON THE TOLL?
> NO ONE HAS YET RAISED THESE ISSUES–ALL DOCUMENTED BELOW– THEY NEED TO BE RAISED WITH GOV IVEY BEFORE ALDOT’S PLAN GETS SET IN CONCRETE!
GROSS ARROGANCE REVEALED
Note what Director Cooper said about finding GOMESA (Alabama Oil and Gas Reserve) money to help defray the cost of the project–a shining example of arrogance that will cost all of us if his approach is not challenged: Here is a quote from the Ch 15 story:
“When asked if he would approach someone about the pool of money, Cooper says probably not…”Obviously everyone involved with the GOMESA money knows where we are, knows about this project,” Cooper said. “Will I reach out to people about the GOMESA money? I probably will not. As I said, if those people who control that money are interested in seeing it used to defray the cost of this bridge and thereby reduce the toll we’re really easy to find.”
The latest blow to ALODT’s reputation came about when Bradley Byrne recently threw ALDOT under the bus by claiming that they did not seriously pursue federal funding for the I-10 bridge project, but were locked into tolling from the start! With that, he simultaneously threw gas on the already growing fire over the tolling issue! If you did not hear it on 106.5,read it here:
GROSS INCOMPTENCE MATCHES GROSS ARROGANCE!
TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT JIM ZEIGLER FOUND ABOUT ONE OF THE COMPANIES ALDOT HAS INCLUDED IN THE BIDDING PROCESS AND ASK YOURSELF HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN. NEXT, ASK IVEY AND ALDOT! (Three shortlisted for Mobile River Bridge – Bridge Design & Engineering (Bd & e)) Mobile, Al – A company on the short-list for construction of a toll bridge over Mobile Bay abandoned four projects in Florida, and its parent company filed bankruptcy. According to Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, Astaldi Construction Corp., abandoned four large road and bridge construction jobs in Florida. Astaldi’s surety bondholders were required to find and pay new contractors to perform the abandoned work, which has still not been completed. Contractor picked for $1.6B part of Florida DOT work Astaldi defaulted on.
After this information was posted, we spoke to ALDOT’s Mobile Office and were told that Astaldi had been dropped form the ‘short list’–better late than never! Yet, the explanation given was that the vetting was done by a well known firm and ALDOT had no reason not to accept the recommendation to put Astaldi on the list–all well and good, however it strains credulity to believe that a company that bails out on 4 projects in a neighboring state could have stayed under the radar of ALDOTS’s engineers–a thought!
MORE INCOMPETENCE ON DISPLAY OVER MISHANDLING PR FOR BRIDGE PROJECT!
“ELIZABETH RIVER TUNNEL” PROJECT (ERT) HAD PROBLEMS THAT MIRROR WHAT WE SEE TAKING PLACE HERE: Midtown Tunnel Financial Close Ignites Virginia Politics VDOT [VIRGINIA DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION]BOTCHED HANDLING THE PR FOR THIS PROJECT—REFUSED TO ENGAGE,DID NOT REPLY TO QUESTIONS, DID NOT HOLD PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS WHERE PUBLIC COULD ENGAGE WITH OFFCIALS (http://pwfinance.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Virginia%E2%80%94Midtown-Tunnel-case-study.pdf,P.6).
NOTE HOW ALDOT IS FOLLOWING THAT SAME ARROGANT APPROACH–NO ATTEMPT TO ANSWER QUESTION AT MAY 7th AND 9th “BRIEFINGS” OR HOLD MORE MEETINGS TO DISCUSS 700 (MANY NEGATIVE) RESPONSES TO THEIR REQUEST TO COMMENT ON THE PROPSALS UNVEILED IN MAY THAT HAS ALREADY BECOME A POLITICAL FIRE STORM THAT IS GROWING, ESPECIALLY AS GRASSROOTS GROUPS ARE MOBILIZING PUBLIC OPINION AND, AS NOTED ABOVE, CONGRESSMAN BYRNE THREW ALDOT UNDER THE BUS WHEN HE COMMENTED THAT THEY HAVE ONLY BEEN CONSIDERING TOLLS FROM THE VERY START.
INCOMPETENCE IS BAD ENOUGH, BUT DECEPTION IS ALSO ON THE TABLE!
Closely linked to the poor PR performance we have seen with ALDOT’, is their inept handling of the whole toll question! WHY THROW OUT A $3-$6 PRICETAG WHEN REASONABLE ALTERNATIVES FOR LOCAL DRIVERS WERE AVAILABLE SUCH AS “EZ PASS” AS WAS USED IN THE ERT PROJECT—SEE BELOW CHART:
We began this page by listing issues we believe fundamentally challenge not only ALDOT’s competency in handling this project, but they have shown a degree of arrogance seldom seen in an Alabama agency. Keep in mind that the Alabama State Senate created an Oversight Committee to reign in what many considered to be as an out of control agency–for once, perhaps the State Senate got something right!
For now, we urge you to get in touch with Gov Ivey and ask her to reign in ALDOT and correct some of the issues we brought up:
>WHY RELY SOLEY ON TOLLING FOR THIS PROJECT? WHO MADE THAT DECISION AND IS IT A FAIR WAY TO HANDLE FUNDING FOR THIS PROJECT WHEN WE SEE SO MANY OHER EXAMPLES IN ALABAMA OF MAJOR PROJECTS PAID FOR WITHOUT TOLLS!
>HOW DID ALDOT PUT ON THEIR SHORT LIST A COMPANY THAT FAILED TO COMPLETE 4 PROJECTS IN FLORIDA? IS JIM ZEIGLER THE ONLY STATE OFFICAL WHO KNOWS HOW TO VET A COMPANY APPLYING FOR A $2B PROJECT?
>WHY DO WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS INCOMPETENCE AND WHY IS GOV IVEY NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
CALL GOV IVEY’S OFFICE AND DEMAND ALDOT ADDRESS THESE ISSUES AND GET ITS ACT TOGETHER TO BETTER SERVE THE CITIZENS OF ALABAMA!
Contact information: Governor Ivey’s phone: 334-242-7100 ; or to email a comment: http://governor.alabama.gov/contact.aspx