Road delay bill advances in Georgia

| 3/14/2007

The Georgia House unanimously approved a bill that would get tough with road contractors who cause construction delays. The bill has been forwarded to the Senate for further consideration.

Sponsored by Rep. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, the bill would prevent companies that fall more than 25 percent behind on public works or state Transportation Department construction contracts from bidding on new projects. The bill clarifies the delay would need to be the contractors' fault. Reasons beyond the contractors control would not apply, The Augusta Chronicle reported.

Harbin said the protection for the state is needed to make sure contracts are completed in a timely manner.

Another bill advancing through the Capitol would hold utility companies' feet to the fire on road work. Sponsored by Sen. Jim Whitehead, R-Evans, the bill would hold utility companies responsible for construction delays if they don't move their lines quickly enough. Companies found in violation would be responsible for paying road contractors.

The bill - SB19 - has advanced from the Senate to the House Transportation Committee. Harbin's bill - HB202 - is in the Senate Transportation Committee.