Corps Breaks Ground on Disputed $333-Million Ft. Benning Hospital
After lengthy delays from bid protests and legal action, the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a ceremonial groundbreaking in late April for the $333-million Martin Army Community Hospital at Fort Benning, Ga.
Turner Construction Co., Atlanta, will lead the design-build contract, which covers the construction of the 745,000-sq-ft, 70-bed facility.
The Corps of Engineers first awarded Turner the contract in September 2009. Shortly thereafter, Ellerbe Becket, Turner’s design partner, was acquired by AECOM. Competing bidders cited that fact as a conflict of interest because another AECOM entity, HSMM, had been previously contracted to work on the project.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office ultimately recommended that Turner’s contract be terminated. In February 2010, the Corps halted work on the project. It then decided to follow GAO’s recommendation, and on March 23, 2010, terminated Turner’s contract.
Turner appealed, and in a July 8, 2010, decision, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Bohdan A. Futey ruled in the company’s favor and ordered the contract be reinstated. In his decision, Judge Futey agreed with Turner’s claim that “the GAO failed to adhere to the appropriate standard of review.”
On Aug. 5, the Corps reinstated Turner’s design-build contract. The project was originally scheduled to be complete by mid-2013. It is now targeting a January 2014 completion.