Troubled Citrus County road builder, U.S. 19 contractor files for bankruptcy

dab contructors
“D.A.B. was the only remaining woman-owned prime contractor in the state."

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.

Mike Wright

Mike Wright is a former reporter with the Citrus County Chronicle, where he had covered county government and politics since 1987. Mike's skills as an investigative reporter earned him first-place awards in investigative writing. Mike also helped the Chronicle win the Frances Devore Award for Public Service in 2002.


  • Cliff

    September 7, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    There’s a reason everybody calls them “Do it Again Boys”.


  • Pearl Council

    September 7, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everryone…Work for three to eight hrs a day and start getting paid in the range of 13,000 to 19,000 dollars a month…Weekly payments…And best thing is..It’s so Easy…

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  • Deb Fick

    September 7, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    They have left horrendous mess with roadway drainage going directly into the Halls River and then the Homosassa River – both designated Outstanding Waterways. Desperately need assistance from our state legislators to get this stopped!


  • Joanne Bartell

    September 7, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    The Homosassa US19 project is a mess. Millions of gallons of untreated runoff is pouring daily into the Halls and Homosassa Rivers, both Outstanding Florida Waters. When DAB closed doors they made a public statement that said unexpected environmental conditions caused problems with the Homosassa project. Would like to hear more about this.


  • Alaina

    September 9, 2021 at 7:53 am

    D A B
    Do it Again Boys!

    Two of the worst organizations in history. DAB & FDOT! They all should be investigated over US 19


  • Bob Smith

    September 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    So, you’re saying that requiring a certain amount of work to go to women/minority-owned businesses (or giving them any preferential treatment in awarding contracts) based solely on the registered owner’s gender or race, as opposed to qualifications, turned out poorly? Who could’ve ever guessed that giving something to someone based on things like race or gender instead of merit could lead to poor results?


    • C Michael Hoover

      September 9, 2021 at 9:41 pm

      The entire minority set-aside fiasco has been nothing but a disaster from the beginnings in the 1960″s. Note that the nominal head of DAB was a woman, but her husband was the VP. Just like so many fraudulent “minority” businesses. Having been involved in highway construction (as a specialty contractor providing communications systems) since 1982, I have seen this mess many a time.


  • Michael

    September 10, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    Maybe they should file suit against DOT, this isn’t the first time DOT ripped off businesses for millions and refused to pay they’re debt.


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