DENVER (CBS4)– The Legislative Audit Committee is asking the State Auditor to investigate the Colorado Department of Transportation after a CBS4 report found the agency is giving most of its big construction projects to one out-of-state company. The company, Kraemer North America, is owned by a Tokyo-based corporation.

(credit: CBS)

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Kraemer is getting hired even when its bids are millions of dollars higher than other companies. Many Colorado-based companies aren’t even being allowed to submit proposals. While CDOT awards smaller jobs on a strictly low-bid basis, it only allows certain companies to bid on bigger projects.

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Senator Ray Scott of Grand Junction asked for the audit. He says many of Kraemer’s jobs are millions of dollars over budget, including the I-25 North widening, which has doubled in price.

“I look at this as a win for the taxpayers of Colorado because they’re the ones that are putting up the money to get all these roads improved and the things that we need for more transportation. What it appears like is one or two contractors are getting the bulk of that money and there could be some waste there. We just want to check and see. We want transparency. We want taxpayers to know they’re getting their bang for their buck,” said Scott.

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The Legislative Audit Committee is made-up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. The committee voted unanimously to have the state auditor conduct research on CDOT’s practices and report back to the committee in December. The committee will then decide whether to move forward with a full audit.

Shaun Boyd