Under the Dome

C.C. Mangum earned $42m on state roads

Fred Smith knows about roads first-hand.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate took over as chief executive officer of Raleigh-based paving company C.C. Mangum Co. in 2004.

He recently told Dome the company gets about 30 percent of its business from public contracts.

Since 2004, the state Department of Transportation has paid C.C. Mangum about $42.4 million for 16 completed and ongoing projects in Wake, Granville, Durham, Orange, Chatham and Johnston counties.

The most expensive project is still being finished. C.C. Mangum bid $35 million for work on N.C. 54 in Durham and Wake counties and has received about $15 million for work so far.

More after the jump.


Other expensive projects include a $5.8 million payment for work on N.C. 50 in Wake County, a $4 million project on Reedy Creek Greenway from the N.C. Museum of Art to Meredith College in Wake County, and a $3.6 million on sections of U.S. 64 and Interstate 440 in Wake County.

Out of the 14 projects, C.C. Mangum finished five on time, six less than a month late, one less than four months late, one less than five months late and one less than six months late .

At exactly six months, Reedy Creek Greenway was the most overdue.

Nine of the 14 projects were cheaper than C.C. Mangum's initial bid. Five projects finished over budget.

The company cut about $300,000 out a project in Wake and Durham Counties. But C.C. Mangum went over budget by $1.5 million during a project on section of N.C. 50 and secondary roads in Wake County.



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Re: Mr. Mangum

Transportation planning = social engineering

Mr. Mangum

I'm not among those who question the value and competence of your company. From all I've heard, you're the "go-to" guys for reliable, honest work.

What I do question is the narrow-mindedness of your boss. Fred Smith has spent a whole lot of time railing against almost every part of government ... except when it comes to the importance of building more roads. His so-called environmental platform has one plank: build more roads. His platform to make the citizens of North Carolina happy has two planks: cut taxes and build more roads.

If Smith had spent one tenth of the time he has spent building roads on thinking about real environmental issues - transportation planning, for example - I might be willing to give him a smidgen of the benefit of the doubt. But that's obviously not the case.

I can't help thinking Mr. Smith's vision for effective and efficient government looks a lot like a hog slopping at the public trough.

Re: C.C. Mangum earned $42m on state roads

I did a quick check of the NC DOT website and learned that in the last 3 years (2005-2007) C.C. Mangum Company saved citizens of North Carolina approximately $10.5 Million by bidding cheaper prices than its competitors. These savings were generated on contracts totaling $53 Million, meaning that on average Mangum bid roughly 20% lower prices than other contractors for the exact same project.
It appears Fred Smith's vision for effective and efficient State government is already on display at C. C. Mangum Company.

Re: C.C. Mangum earned $42m on state roads

Unfortunately, this blog about Senator Smith contains both inaccurate facts and implications. For example, the implication that any project awarded and completed by C.C. Mangum Company for the Department of Transportation was “expensive” implies that C.C. Mangum Company overcharged the State of North Carolina. The Department of Transportation awards projects through a public bidding process, in which companies like C.C. Mangum Company must be qualified and bid lower than other qualified bidders. For example, C.C. Mangum Company bid approximately $35,000,000 for the N.C. 54 / Davis Drive project mentioned above, which was less than the Department of Transportation’s original estimate of approximately $37,000,000, and substantially less than the next lowest bidder of more than $44,000,000. In summary, implying that C.C. Mangum Company is “expensive” is very misleading, when in this one example alone C.C. Mangum Company arguably saved the State of North Carolina approximately $9,000,000.

Similarly, implying that C.C. Mangum Company is regularly “late” in completing projects for the Department of Transportation is inaccurate. While numerous factors can cause a site developer like C.C. Mangum Company to complete a project later than originally planned, many of those factors are outside the control of the site developer. In fact, the bulk of the projects which the blogger indicated were not completed on time have not been finalized, which is evident from the spreadsheet attached to the blog. Furthermore, and since the Reedy Creek project was actually pointed out by the blog, the documentation attached to the blog shows that the Reedy Creek Project was completed more than two weeks early, and not six months late. Regardless, and again, implying that C.C. Mangum Company is regularly “late” in completing projects for the Department of Transportation is simply not accurate.

Finally, attempting to blame C.C. Mangum Company for a Department of Transportation project being over budget or giving credit to C.C. Mangum Company for a Department of Transportation project being under budget can be deceptive. The Department of Transportation originally estimates the costs of a project based upon predicted quantities of materials needed for the project. If the project requires more or less materials than the Department of Transportation originally estimated, the budget may exceed or be less than the original budget. Furthermore, a Department of Transportation project may be over budget simply because the Department of Transportation decides, while the project is ongoing, to expand the scope of the project. The Wake County N.C. 50 and secondary roads project mentioned above is actually a good example of this occurring. With that particular project, C.C. Mangum Company quoted a very good price to the Department of Transportation to provide a limited amount of asphalt patching for this project. Because the price was so favorable, the Department of Transportation significantly expanded the scope of the project, which resulted in the project being over the original budget; however, that was not caused in any way by C.C. Mangum Company. Again, implying that C.C. Mangum Company is responsible for a Department of Transportation project being over or under budget can be very deceptive.

Re: C.C. Mangum earned $42m on state roads

Senator Smith is a member of the minority party and Republicans rarely receive special treatment from the Democrat-run agency. So, CC Mangum won the contract fairly.

Additionally, the person who sent this to you should have done his/her research. Perhaps CC Mangum had bad weather to deal with. Perhaps there were other delays that those of us not in the industry, might not take into consideration. It's easy to throw stones without looking at the detailed facts. I worked at DOT in my younger years and so much goes on in the planning and work that most people never consider.

Finally, Senator Smith saved that company from dying after it had done much good work for North Carolina. He risked the loss of his personal fortune to save a company that employs hundreds of North Carolineans. Do we want to pick on him for that?



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