The town of Trumbull, Connecticut has taken the initiative to start litigation against Bridgeport-based contractor, Mark IV Construction Company after deficiencies were found on the Jog Hill Trumbull sewer expansion project, Contract 3 which was completed in December 2009.
The civil lawsuit follows a forensic audit that was conducted last year by Rhode Island-based CCR Certified Public Accountants and Business Advisors and the Beta Group which found that there were 21 change orders to the contract for the sewer project that was awarded to Mark IV in May 2007 and extensions totaling over $3 million. Also, approximately $1.6 million worth of engineering services were performed from 2001 through 2009 with only $564,000 of that work being formally bid. Based on these findings, an engineering study was approved by the Trumbull Water Pollution Control Authority. The study was performed by Shelton-based Tighe & Bond.
Tighe & Bond’s investigation of the Contract 3 project took place this past October and revealed that approximately 26% of the street length within the project’s area exhibited some sign of trench settlement and it was confirmed that sanitary trench compaction was discontinued after a few tests early on in the project. 365 pipe defects were also found including misshapen and compressed pipes. Other defects and deficiencies in the work include chimney and pipe push-throughs and cracked saddles with water infiltration. The report estimated the total cost of the repairs for the numerous physical defects within the sewer system to be $4.7 million.
Based upon request, after the investigation of Contract 3, the town’s WPCA hired Tighe and Bond to oversee a sewer project in Trumbull called Contract 4 that is currently under progress. No problems with this project have been reported.
Trumbull’s WPCA received a federal grand jury subpoena a few weeks prior to the lawsuit and Trumbull First Selectman Timothy M. Herbst issued a statement that said his administration is cooperating fully with the federal government and will provide all information that may be required during the course of the investigation. The Contract 3 project took place before Herbst took office but he requested the forensic audit of the project after his administration addressed irregularities within the town’s WPCA at the onset of his role as First Selectman.
“It’s getting better but it’s been a nightmare,” said Daniel Nelson, Chief of Staff to First Selectmen. “A lawsuit of this magnitude could go on for a couple of years,” he added.
Attempts to contact Mark IV Construction’s attorney, Kenneth M. Rozich of Jacobs & Rozich, LLC were unsuccessful.