State Transportation Commissioner Jeffrey A. Parker has awarded a $356.82 million project to rebuild the highway interchange in New Haven to a joint venture including O&G Industries of Torrington.
The award, announced Friday, comes before a Tuesday court hearing in New Haven in a lawsuit by the second-lowest bidder to try to prevent O&G from winning the job.
The O&G/Tutor Perini Corp. joint venture, low bidder on the project by $22 million, was also the contractor on the Kleen Energy Project in Middletown, where a Feb. 7 natural gas explosion killed six workers and injured 50. The state Department of Transportation asked O&G to respond to a number of concerns as part of the qualification process.
DOT spokesman Judd Everhart, said, a three-member DOT panel held a hearing and concluded that O&G was a 'responsible bidder' and that its plans for safety on the ... project were adequate and recommended that the contract be awarded to them."
On Aug. 3, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited O&G for 142 violations --117 of them classified as willful -- and fined the company $8.35 million as the prime contractor in the Middletown accident.
SDE Interchange Joint Venture of Secaucus, N.J., filed suit to bar Parker from awarding the contract to O&G and Tutor Perini. (Read the documents related to this story at newhavenregister.com).
SDE, composed of Schiavone Construction of Secaucus, N.J., DeFoe Corp. of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Empire Paving of North Haven, based its suit on a state law that bars companies from receiving state contracts if they have been cited for "three or more willful or serious violations of any occupational safety and health act ... during the three-year period preceding the bid, provided such violations were ... not abated within the time fixed by the citation."
The interchange project involves the reconstruction of the junction of Interstate 95, Interstate 91 and Route 34 and is scheduled to be completed in 2016.