Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Elkhorn Contractor Defaults On Madison Area Interchange Project

According to Wisconsin DOT project engineer Adam Kopp, Mann Brothers, Inc. of Elkhorn stopped work for the winter break in mid December on the $6 million Fitchburg US 14 interchange project, and never came back to work when the spring highway building season opened. Heavy equipment on the job site is neatly lined up in rows, and the project subcontractors and material suppliers have not been paid. Hudson Insurance, the performance and payment bond surety on the project, is in negotiations with WISDOT over payment to subs and suppliers, and the hiring of a general contractor to complete the project.

Mann is also in default on county road projects on Routes A, J and ES in Walworth County. Walworth County Purchasing Manager Peggy Watson said her projects are stalled and the County is “having the bond company work through the issues.” Neither Walworth County nor WISDOT has yet determined whether to have Mann continue as general with financing from the bonding company, or to mobilize a replacement general contractor at the bonding company’s expense.

Mann Brothers was founded in Elkhorn in 1920 when Lawrence Mann and his sons trapped and sold 85 wild mink, and used the proceeds as down payments on a Caterpillar bulldozer and a ton and a half dump truck. In 1932 ownership passed to the second generation, and then to the third generation in 1982 under the leadership of Richard Mann. Fourth generation owner David Mann has overseen rapid expansion of the company, apparently stretching corporate finances to the point where the downturn in the construction economy has taken its toll on the company’s ability to pay subs and suppliers.

blog comments powered by Disqus