A Superior Court order awarded King County $14.7 million in legal fees on Friday, April 19, in a dispute over the Brightwater Conveyance Tunnel’s Central Tunnel contract, located to the north of Seattle, Washington.
The court also denied any post-trial motions to appeal a jury’s decision in December to award the county $129.6 million in damages.
King County filed the lawsuit against VPFK — a joint venture of Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Parsons, and Frontier-Kemper Constructors — in 2010, with claims that contractors failed to meet deadlines after both of its 16.7ft (5.1m) diameter Herrenknecht slurry TBMs came to a standstill – 330ft (100m) underground and under about 5 bar of pressure – following severe wear damage to the cutterhead rims on both machines.
King County awarded the $212 million Central contract – comprising the 11,600ft (3.5km) eastbound BT-2 slurry drive and the 20,100ft (6.1km) westbound BT-3 slurry heading – to VPFK in 2006.
In March 2010, King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a declaration of emergency in order to expedite a change of contractor on the westbound BT3 heading. This declaration enabled King County to waive procurement requirements and hire the project’s West Tunnel contractor, Jay Dee/Coluccio/Taisei (JCT) JV, to complete the remainder of the BT-3 Tunnel from the east using the (4.7m) Lovat EPBM that had excavated the project’s BT4 drive. The VPFK remained under contract to finish the resumed eastbound BT-2 Herrenknecht slurry machine drive.
See NATJ’s Oct/Nov 2011 digital edition for a full report on the rescue operations.
Brightwater’s $1.8 billion waste water treatment plant opened in 2011.