TAUNTON – Weeds grow and materials sit idle around a massive construction site along Route 140 in Taunton. The project is frozen in time and only 19% complete.
“I would love to know why and it’s just taking forever,” said Lino Braga of Berkley, who drives the area regularly.
Stamped all over the construction barriers at the intersection of Routes 140 and 24 is the word “Cardi,” for Cardi Corporation, the Warwick, Rhode Island Company that started work in 2020 but stopped working on the project on October 27.
The project itself is slated to cost $116 million according to MassDOT records. The taxpayer money comes from a federal highway program. It’s unclear how much, if any, of the price had already been paid to Cardi Corporation.
“That’s a crazy number,” Braga said.
But the price reflects the amount of work: redoing the Route 24 overpass, and rerouting highway ramps to set up for incoming development including a new train station.and a
Since the group stopped its work on the site that is nowhere near completion, MassDOT confirmed to WBZ-TV it is now negotiating a takeover agreement with a new contractor to finish the job and added Cardi has no other projects with them.
Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell issued a statement about the project.
“The MassDOT project at the intersection of Route 24 and Route 140 is a State project that is overseen and directed solely by State departments and agencies,” O’Connell said. “The City of Taunton works with MassDOT to address any potential issues affecting our community. We are hopeful that the State is able to secure a contractor expeditiously to complete the remainder of the project in a timely fashion.”
WBZ-TV asked Cardi Corporation for comment but received no response.
The company is currently facing a number of lawsuits for unpaid fines to various unions, as well as interest and fees. Just this year, at least three have been filed in federal court, asking for $100,000-$460,000 in unpaid fines.
“It’s awful. I just think there’s no accountability,” said Taunton resident Tony Fontes.
Now, residents just want to know when – and by whom – the project will be completed.