D.A.B. Constructors, which abandoned $250 million in state and local highway projects when it suddenly shut down in July, announced Tuesday it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Inglis-based road builder had been in business for 33 years, company President Debora Bachschmidt said in a statement.
Its closing left 400 people, many living in Citrus and surrounding counties, suddenly without work.
D.A.B. was the contractor on the much-maligned $31.8 million U.S. 19 widening project in Homosassa, which was more than a year behind schedule as of the business’ closing in late July.
The company had similar scheduling issues with the Florida Department of Transportation on other state projects as well.
Two weeks before D.A.B. closed, FDOT defaulted the company for missing deadlines and contract milestones on a $33 million interchange project at Interstate 75 and State Road 56 in Pasco County.
At the time of its closing, D.A.B. said it self-financed $10 million in unreimbursed costs on the U.S. 19 widening project in Homosassa.
D.A.B. blamed the default issue with FDOT as the reason for its financial downfall.
“D.A.B. was the only remaining woman-owned prime contractor in the state,” Bachschmidt said. “Our small size and local workforce of upward of 400 dedicated employees allowed D.A.B. to fill a niche in the public sector construction space by delivering projects at substantially lower costs to the taxpayers over the years than competing firms while meeting the exacting quality standards of FDOT and local governmental owners. D.A.B. could not, however, continue to self-finance FDOT projects, nor await the outcome of formal ‘claim’ court actions that could be years out.”
In recent years, the Bachschmidts had turned over business operations to their son, Foster Bachschmidt, notes the Tampa Bay Times. “State corporate records indicate a change in corporate leadership July 19, just after the DOT declared D.A.B. in default on the Pasco project: Foster Bachschmidt was dropped from his job as vice president of operations and assistant secretary.”
FDOT is working with D.A.B.’s bonding company to complete the state projects.