Lead contractor sues transit center agency for alleged contract violations

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) The lead contractor for the troubled Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco has sued the government agency in charge of the project in Superior Court, alleging violation of its contract.

The contractor, Webcor/Obayashi Joint Venture, alleges the Transbay Joint Powers Authority broke its contract by providing incomplete and defective design documents, delaying in responding to the contractor's questions and using a contingency fund improperly.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, asks for a jury trial and seeks about $150 million in damages.

The $2.2 billion first phase of the project, a regional bus center, opened on Aug. 11. But the transit center closed on Sept. 25 after a fissure in a steel beam was found.

Another fissure in a second beam was found later that day.

The Webcor/Obayashi Joint Venture was chosen as the general contractor and construction manager for the project in 2009.

The lawsuit claims the authority failed to compensate the joint venture for the costs of incomplete plans and delays the authority itself allegedly caused.

The agency responded in a statement, "The Transbay Joint Powers Authority will hold Webcor/Obayashi Joint Venture responsible for their contractual commitment to deliver this project to the people of the Bay Area and the state of California."

Mohammed Nuru, chair of the authority's board of directors, said, "The TJPA remains focused on reopening the transit center as soon as safely possible to the public and we hope that all parties will join us in that effort."

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority is made up of San Francisco, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board and the California High Speed Rail Authority. Caltrans is an ex-officio member.

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