Ky. Highway Contractors Benefit From Lack Of Competition

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- In 2006 and 2007, two paving companies owned in part by the family of Lexington businessman Leonard Lawson won 44 state highway contracts worth nearly $160 million -- 43 of them with no competition, a Louisville Courier-Journal analysis shows.

And that $160 million was more than 5 percent higher than the state's confidential estimates of what the work should cost. No other major state road contractor got work that was, on average, that much above the official estimates, reports the C-J in its Sunday edition.

One of the companies, L-M Asphalt Partners of Lexington, won 20 state contracts worth $87.6 million in 2006 and 2007. On average, the percentage by which its bids exceeded the Department of Highways' estimated costs was 7.16.

The other, Gaddie-Shamrock LLC of Columbia, won 24 contracts, worth $72.2 million, and its winning bids averaged 5.86 percent more than the estimates, reports the newspaper.

For all of the 1,003 contracts awarded during that two-year period -- worth $2.2 billion -- the average winning bid was 5 percent below the estimated cost.

While the state doesn't require more than one bid on any given project, state Highway Engineer Gilbert Newman said the newspaper's analysis shows the value of competition, the newspaper reports.

"That's obvious here," he said in an interview. "In the best interest of the state, it would be best to have competition."

Lawson said in a statement issued through a public-relations firm that "our companies provide a superior product at a fair market price. The quality and taxpayer value of our performance is validated by over 25 years of award-winning work. The arbitrary two-year period you are considering and the rough averages you have calculated fall far short of meaningful statistical analysis," reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Copyright - The Louisville Courier-Journal.
www.courier-journal.com


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by PoorBoy Location: Campton on Jun 30, 2008 at 09:34 AM
    Wow,just like the people of Ky.Let's talk about all the good things the rich have done for us.Then maybe they will let us have some crumps from under their tables.Jamie you must not really be from E.Ky or you would know how bad the roads are when they are constructed.
  • by KyHillbilly Location: Ky at Large on Jun 30, 2008 at 07:10 AM
    Gosh!, would be nice if they would do all that work some place other than Lexington or Louisville. As a whole the roads in Kentucky "blank" and we all know that.
  • by Jamie Location: E. KY on Jun 30, 2008 at 06:21 AM
    I for one Aappreciate what the Lawson family has done for my family and all of KY, very very great man, Thanks Leonard and steve.
  • by DR Location: S.WILLIAMSON on Jun 30, 2008 at 04:44 AM
    Thats what they call having you in the perverberal back pocket,rich get richer,etc.Wonder who if anybody oversees this,hey Shawn drive up to Eastern Ky and look at the great work they have done here
  • by Stephanie on Jun 30, 2008 at 12:28 AM
    If you dont like it, bid against him next time.
  • by Shawn Location: Lexington on Jun 29, 2008 at 03:26 PM
    Don't Hate. Appreciate. Get over it. They do GREAT work. And they are here for the growth of Kentucky. The Lawson family has done more for KY then anyone understands. Bill obviously likes dirt roads.
  • by Bill Location: Pikeville on Jun 29, 2008 at 05:31 AM
    Let the cash flow HUH boys.They get richer and richer while the people of Ky. get stiffed.=A bid whats that, we don't have to do that.Do-we.??

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