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      Ballenger Construction files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

      A Harlingen-based company with 25 pending public works contracts throughout the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas has filed for bankruptcy.

      Ballenger Construction filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at a federal court in Corpus Christi on Friday.

      Court records show that the company owes between $10 million and $50 million dollars to some 1,000 to 5,000 creditors.

      Owner Joe C. Ballenger Sr. claims the company has less than $50,000 dollars in assets.

      Records show that the single largest creditor to Ballenger is South Texas Trucking in Harlingen to whom they owe $1.3 million dollars.

      Projects Abandoned

      Founded back in March 1937, Ballenger has diversified from building roads to major public works projects through South Texas.

      According to court records, the company has 25 road construction and other projects that have now been left unmanned.

      One road construction project next to John Jay High School in San Antonio was left unguarded allowing students to walk through the construction zone.

      The records show that Ballenger began shutting down its operations on Monday, December 3rd when a majority of employees were told to go home.

      "The Debtor has ceased business operations, told its employees to go home, and has no ability to complete construction of its jobs," attorneys wrote in a motion filed in federal court.

      But attorneys are asking for judge to help the company stay open to finish their projects, which are vital to public safety.

      Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

      Federal law allows business to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize their finances while remaining open.

      Ballenger declined to comment while attorneys for the company told Action 4 News that they will reply to inquiries at a later time.

      Court records show that the Ballenger and their attorneys all participated in a conference call with a bankruptcy judge in Corpus Christi on Monday.

      The judge agreed to help the company keep a bank account open in order to conduct business.

      Records show that Ballenger notified both the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of San Antonio about their intent to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.