Source: http://www.dothaneagle.com, December 3, 2012
By: Lance Griffin
Dothan commissioners are expected to approve a $150,000 out-of-court settlement with a contractor that claims faulty information provided by another city contractor forced it to spend more money than anticipated during a recent sewer line project.
B and B Underground Contractors of Haleyville claims it was forced to spend more than $463,000 above its anticipated expenditures while installing a sanitary sewer trunk line underneath U.S. Highway 84 West in 2009. B and B claims the extra expense was the result of a faulty “Geotech Report” from a contractor that did not accurately reflect the location of rock formations and loose sand underneath U.S. Highway 84 where the line was supposed to be installed.
According to the complaint filed last year in federal court, B and B installed the trunk line from Beaver Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant underneath U.S. Highway 84 using a drilling technique that allowed the line to be installed without disrupting the actual highway. During the course of drilling underneath the road, B and B encountered rock formations that forced the installation to be made closer to the road than scheduled.
Also, B and B claims it encountered loose sand at another location that made B and B concerned about the structural integrity of the highway. B and B claims it informed the engineering company contracted by the city to engineer the project that it would have to spend an additional $463,000 to make sure the highway did not collapse.
B and B claims it informed the engineering contractor that it would incur the extra cost and would need a “change order” to indicate that the cost of work would increase from the original estimated sum. However, B and B claims the engineering contractor denied the request and argued that the necessary work could be done without incurring additional costs. B and B completed the work and filed the lawsuit in federal court June 28, 2011.
The $150,000 settlement proposal between the City of Dothan and B and B was reached during a settlement conference in November. The settlement must be approved by a majority of Dothan commissioners.
Settlement sums, if any, among other defendants Barge, Wagner, Sumner and Cannon, Building and Earth Sciences and Eutaw Construction Company have not been publicly disclosed.