DelDOT sues Indian River bridge consultants

The state Department of Transportation is suing for “geotechnical errors” in connection with the Indian River Inlet Bridge replacement.

The lawsuit is filed against bridge design firm Figg Bridge Engineers and its subconsultant MACTEC Engineering.  The suit claims that the companies did not account for the nature of soil settlement under the bridge approaches.  DelDOT claims that failure caused the embankments to excessively settle and become unusable.  

In a statement, DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks says, “We worked to resolve these issues without litigation, but we have been unable to reach a resolution that’s fair to taxpayers.  We are now seeking a resolution in court.”

DelDOT is seeking $19.6 million in damages, which is the cost to construct the embankments and partially remove them.  This problem has been on-going since 2007.  Several state legislators have been asking DelDot find a resolution to the situtation.

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It does not cover a recent problem discovered on the bridge with cracks in the pavement.  The Indian River Bridge has undergone a series of delays in opening along Route 1 in Sussex County.  It had been scheduled to open this April.  That opening has been moved to December. 

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