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Seattle Sues Contractor Over Delayed Sewer Project

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King County has sued contractor Vinci, Parsons, Frontier-Kemper (VPFK) for $74 million in damages as part of its $1.8-billion Brightwater sewer project. In the suit, amended on June 4 in King County Superior Court, the county says that VPFK fell three years behind its promised schedule and into breach of contract. VPFK’s work on the 13-mile project included construction of a 2.2-mile bored tunnel north of Seattle. Work started in September 2007, and by October 2009, the county gave VPFK formal notice it required major changes. Originally scheduled for a November 2010 completion, VPFK said it wouldn’t finish until 35 months later. The problem grew when two tunnel-boring machines broke down and lodged in the tunnel, sitting idle for nine months. In April 2010, the county hired JayDee Coluccio to complete portions of VPFK’s tunneling work and now expects to have all 13 miles of tunnels running by 2012. The county wants to recover $74 million for its new tunneling contract and engineering fees.

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