|CONSEQUENCES Soon-to-wrap Boston project is now enveloped in cost recovery. (Photo courtesy of bigdig.com)|
The cost recovery effort is divided between project consultant Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff and various section design consultants responsible for detailed design on specific project segments. The cost-recovery team is led by retired probate Judge Edward M. Ginsburg, hired last year by MTA Chairman Matthew J. Amorello. He has already filed suit against B/PB for $146 million for breaching fiduciary duties related to project cost escalation (ENR 3/29 p. 12). We were hired to run a fair process, says Ginsburg. Mistakes were made but were not out to hang anybody. Money due the taxpayers should come back.
Ginsburg fields a staff of lawyers and engineers, including Exponent, an Alexandria, Va., forensic engineering firm. Lemley & Associates, Boise, is also working with the team to probe potential project-wide issues such as scheduling, waterproofing and pavement that could also impact B/PB.
To try and head off litigation, the fact-finding and negotiation effort is being handled contract-by-contract and engineer-to-engineer. To date, the team has uncovered 634 cost recovery issues. Of 305 that have been reviewed, 181 have been dismissed and are now closed.
But 124 issues have findings of responsibility, which result in a demand letter and a chance to negotiate a settlement. Failing that, the cost recovery team files suit in Suffolk County Superior Court. We have total demands of $14.5 million against section design consultants and $15.5 million against B/PB, says Ginsburg.
So far, only Jacobs Civil Inc., Boston, has settled three claims for $3.5 million and is still negotiating on two others. The firm would not comment. A smaller $85,000 settlement has also been reached with the joint venture of Amman & Whitney, New York City; Rizzo Associates Inc., Natick, Mass.; and Vollmer Associates LLP, Boston. The demand amounts remain confidential.onstruction is winding down on Bostons $14.6-billion Central Artery/Tunnel project but state officials are ramping up a major effort to recover costs related to errors and omissions. Targeting design deficiencies that resulted in contract modifications, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority have already made up to $30 million in demands against firmsand more is on the way.