City named in $2.5M countersuit filed by pedestrian bridge contractor

OTTAWA – The City of Ottawa has been named in a counterclaim filed by Louis W. Bray Construction looking for damages totaling more than $2.5 million over the botched Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge.

City named in $2.5M countersuit filed by pedestrian bridge contractor

Pedestrian bridge project over airport parkway has been halted over construction concerns.

Photograph by: Jean Levac , Ottawa Citizen

The problems plaguing the pedestrian bridge have been well publicized, although this Lawsuit has to do with the first problem of the faulty concrete rather than the more recent issue over the allegedly questionable design of the bridge.

In the spring of 2012, the contractor for the pedestrian bridge – Louis W. Bray Construction – ordered an assessment of the crumbling concrete that had been used to pour the bottom part of the central tower in the bridge. On receiving the report, Bray ordered the tower to be torn down.

R. W. Tomlinson Ltd. (doing business as Cumberland Ready Mix) was the subcontractor on the project and responsible for the concrete that was originally used in the tower. Bray used another concrete supplier – Lafarge Canada – in the reconstructing.

Last summer, Tomlinson sued Bray Construction over the issue.

Now, Bray is turning around and countersuing Tomlinson – and adding in the city for good measure, according to a document filed with the Ontario Superior Court on Oct. 7.

According to the counterclaim, Bray is looking for damages from the city and from Tomlinson’s Cumberland Ready Mix of more than $2.5 million. The counterclaim includes: $1.29 million for breach of contract and negligence (and the equivalent of what Bray says it paid out to get the original concrete tested and repoured), $1 million for delay and impact, and $333,750 for funds “currently withheld by the City.”

Bray’s countersuit goes on to make a number of claims, including allegations that the city “failed to properly coordinate” employees and subcontractors; “failed to ensure a workable design was provided for the project,” and “failed to make decisions in a timely and efficient manner,” among other things.

Bray’s countersuit also alleges that “the concrete materials specified by the City were inadequate” to meet the contract requirements for the bridge.

None of the allegations in the countersuit has been proven in court.

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