Construction company sues SEPTA over regional rail renovations

A construction company is suing SEPTA over delays in the Allen Lane station reconstruction project.

Crossing Construction Company Inc., of Washington Crossing, is accusing SEPTA of breaching its $6.9 million contract with the firm and causing delays to the project, which has involved the construction of high-level platforms, a new pedestrian overpass and increased accessibility options.

The station, located in Mount Airy, was first built in the 19th century and designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness and is served by the Chestnut Hill West line. The present project began in 2009.

The suit, filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 13, says SEPTA failed to provide accurate information on groundwater beneath the station, causing construction delays and inflicting more than $420,000 in damages to Crossing Construction because the firm had to drain the water for construction to proceed. Of that, the firm is asking for more than $50,000 back from SEPTA.

The suit also alleges that SEPTA required Crossing Construction to do work that wasn’t covered in the contract, including installing concrete foundations for a temporary overhead stairs, which the firm says it did “under protest.”

It was also required to install wire mesh that wasn’t covered under the contract, according to the complaint.

The suit accuses SEPTA of delaying construction by ordering Crossing Construction to do additional soil testing work in connection with the excavation of retaining walls for the station.

Though SEPTA gave the company an additional nine days of construction time because of the delay, it says the authority needs to pay more than $17,000 to cover the cost of the testing.

The suit also says SEPTA “inordinately delayed” monthly payments to the company and says the authority never responded to a letter it sent Nov. 2 regarding these claims.

SEPTA didn’t respond to a request for comment, though it has a general policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

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