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City, Stantec go to court over truck route

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The City of Delta has filed a claim against Stantec, the firm that designed the alternate truck route, alleging design flaws caused construction costs to escalate.

In a letter written last summer to Stantec's corporate counsel, city attorney David McConaughy said, "Reflective of those failures, Hamon's construction costs associated with the project went from an original budgeted amount of $18 million to approximately $22.4 million, a difference of almost $4.4 million."

After mediation, the city agreed to pay Hamon Contractors more than $1.6 million in excess of the original contract price. The claim alleges Stantec's contractual and professional failures caused many of those cost overruns, so it should be responsible for the costs.

Stantec responded, "Despite repeated requests, the city has failed to provide a demand that will allow us to assess alleged damages and evaluate potential liability before we will agree to participate in mediation."

Last week, District Court Judge Steven Schultz approved an extended period of mediation through June 1, but set a series of court dates that will allow a trial to take place if mediation is not successful. Both sides agreed seven to eight days would be necessary to present expert testimony central to the case. The trial is set to begin Nov. 8.

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