Contractor files $99M lawsuit against rail agency over delays
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The company building the next phase of the Skyline rail project is suing the rail authority for nearly $100 million over unexpected delays with relocating utilities in the project’s path.
The joint venture Shimmick-Traylor-Granite (SMG) is building the $1 billion, five-mile segment from the stadium to Middle Street.
The lawsuit said HART didn’t do its part in identifying underground and above-ground utilities that needed to be relocated. It points out that HART had the same problem with prior segments and promised to perform better — or pay for any delays.
It also said HART took many unnecessary months working out agreements with the electric company, which were needed to do the relocation work.
The lawsuit says HART failed to accept responsibility and pay for the contractor’s delays.
Law professor Randy Lee, who helped audit the project, says HART usually settles these kinds of claims.
“This dispute will be settled also,” Lee predicted.
“Now the question to come is, is it going to taint the feeling of this contractor? Should I go forward, because if you’re encountering these kinds of obstacles, it makes things a lot difficult to finish a project.”
Lee said the company might decide not to bid on the final phase of the project because of the dispute.
In statement, HART officials said they respect the work of the company but dispute the allegations in the lawsuit and the $99 million estimate of damages.
The airport segment is due for completion in 2025.
Bids for the final segment are expected to be awarded next summer.
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