Troubled traffic center faces more delays after city fires contractor

Troubled traffic center faces more delays after city fires contractor

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Plans for the $54 million Joint Traffic Management Center have been underway for about a decade.

And experts said further delays and increased costs are likely after the city fired its contractor Monday.

"It's going to get more expensive because the new contractor has to catch up, has to review what has happened (and) match the design with the as-builts," said UH Civil Engineering Professor Panos Prevedorous.

The city has been at odds with Watts Constructors for about a year before it fired the company.

A report in February cited 110 defects, and since then the city said only a third of those problems have been corrected. They included basic items like incorrectly installed roofing, stairs and flooring.

"Unfortunately, Watts did not address the defaults by taking necessary corrective actions," said Donna Leong, the city's corporation counsel.

Watts did not return our calls. But back in February, its general manager denied that there were any major problems.

"There's nothing that's non-conforming that I would term as a major structural defect that could cause any harm," general manager Gennaro Dinola said in the February interview with Hawaii News Now.

The city required the contractor to buy insurance for just this kind of dispute.

It's now up the insurance company to step in and find a new contractor to finish the job.

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