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|Police Jury amends lawsuit over roads|
The Concordia Parish Police Jury has filed a second supplemental and amended petition in its lawsuit over the construction of Phase 1 roads.
The Jury is seeking damages from the contractor, The Blain Companies of Natchez, as well as others. The suit says that damages are the result of "a combination of the fault or negligence or breach of contract of Blain, the engineer, and/or GTL, in amount or percentages to be determined by the court."
GTL of Alexandria is the firm hired by the engineer to design the roads, according to Jury President Melvin Ferrington.
The trial over the Jury's suit is tentatively slated for March.
The Jury's amended lawsuit claims that Blain used "substandard methods in preparing the base course," including improper thickness and cross slope, inappropriate procedures and equipment for the project, improper use of water in the cement treated base course, failure to adequately test the construction in all phases, failure to maintain proper quality control and failure to require "adequate pre-construction testing."
The amended petition also says the Jury is entitled to recover damages from the engineer "to the extent engineer's conduct caused or contributed to the deficiencies described..." The Jury said it paid $1,230,500 to Hammett & Associates for the engineering work on the project.
Another amendment notes that the contract price, including change orders, totaled $4,196,363.25 of which $3,617,373.82 has been paid to Blain. "Because of Blain's gross violations of the terms of the contract," the Jury is seeking a judgment declaring the remaining $578,989.43 "need not be paid Blain, nor should any further sums be paid to Blain in connection with Phase I."
Additionally, the Jury's amended petition says the damages caused were due in part to the "fault or negligence of GTL," including failure to follow accepted procedures "to determine the minimum percentage of cement to achieve the target psi for cement treated base course and to determine the percentage of lime necessary to reduce the plasticity index," and failure to apprise the engineer and Jury of project areas where "new base course materials should have been used in lieu of attempting to achieve treatment and stabilization with lime and cement..."
The amended petition also claims that Blain's Phase 1 work resulted in "severely uneven road shoulders, and inverted crowns causing roads to hold rather than drain water," while adding that the contractor who did Phase 2 work "constructed a dramatically superior finished product."
Due to the "substandard work," the Jury says it has incurred additional costs for testing including $41,189.50 to TetraTech and $22,403.60 paid to Ardaman & Associates. Additional testing may yet be needed, the Jury says.
The Jury also said damages "caused in part by the fault, negligence or breach of contract of the engineer," include failure "to discharge its duties," failure to adequately oversee Blain's work and to "adequately and timely report necessary corrective measures."
In addition, the Jury claims the engineer provided deficient plans and specifications, charged $168,300 for staking on the project "whereas absolutely no staking was performed," approved use of reclaimed asphalt pavement in violation of the contract, failed to provide utility mapping, failed to provide a "qualified inspector," and failed to notify the Jury that "recommendation of GTL were inadequate."
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