SEPTA in talks with contractor to settle Market-Frankford El lawsuit

A lawsuit over who is to blame for delays and cost overruns on the Market Street Elevated Reconstruction Project may be inching toward settlement.

Court documents show that SEPTA has begun confidential settlement discussions with AECOM, the architectural and engineering contractor for the project, which rebuilt stations and the elevated track running along the Market Street portion of the Market-Frankford El.

SEPTA filed suit against the firm late last year, seeking $43 million to cover settlements with other contractors on the project, as well as for money to cover increased construction costs that it claims AECOM is responsible for.

The project replaced 22,000 feet of track and covered the rebuilding of six stations, costing the authority about $740 million.

SEPTA alleges that the firm failed to respond in a timely fashion to requests for more information from SEPTA and its contractors and to requests to revise parts of the project and that design flaws in the firm’s plans “would have endangered the safety and welfare of SEPTA’s ridership, the surrounding community and members of the public.”

AECOM, in turn, has also begun settlement discussions with several of the third-party defendants it has named in the lawsuit.

Gannett Fleming Inc., Chilton Engineering Inc., UCI Architects Inc. and Ang Associates Inc. have been named as defendants by AECOM and were also involved in the reconstruction project.

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