Construction dispute over Turnpike could result in litigation
A $151 project intended to alleviate traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Northeast Extension is reportedly experiencing delays that could result in a trip to court. The project will add an additional lane in each direction along a six-mile stretch of road from Mid-County to Lansdale exits.
According to Turnpike Commission spokesman Carl DeFebo, challenges arose after construction on the project began back in 2011 along a six-mile long construction zone. These include the building of temporary supports needed to reinforce the existing travel lanes, which are the highest traveled, four-land stretch of the turnpike in the Commonwealth.
Another challenge lies in finalizing a contract to rebuild a bridge that carries turnpike traffic above a rail line.
Sources say that the Turnpike Commission and its contractor, Walsh Construction, are blaming one another as to who is responsible for the delays, and the issue is likely to be litigated. That is because the contract specifies that the contract pay fines for each day of delay, which could get costly. The project was intended to be finished next year, but at this point the projected completion date has been pushed back to 2014.
The project is significant since it is the first-total reconstruction initiative undertaken on the Northeastern Extension since it opened over 56 years ago back in 1955. More improvements are expected to come to the Turnpike to the north.
Source: philly.com, “Dispute Over Northeast Extension Construction Project Could Go To Court,” Steve Tawa, December 18, 2012