DelDOT, engineering firms settle Indian River bridge claims for $5 million

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The Delaware Department of Transportation  announced that it has resolved legal action involving the original, and now removed, roadway embankments for the Indian River Inlet Bridge. The lawsuit was scheduled for a 12 week trial beginning in May, 2014.

The resolution, which arose out of voluntary mediation among the parties, requires the payment of $5.25 million to the state. These funds must be applied to transportation projects for which federal funds may be used. The original suit was for $20 million.

Both MACTEC and Figg deny responsibility. While DelDOT, MACTEC and Figg all had  experts prepared to testify in support of their claims and defenses, the uncertainties of litigation led to the compromise reached to resolve the litigation, a DelDOT release stated.

Problems that included the bridge project and real estate buying practices led to the departure of former DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks.

“This settlement allows DelDOT to receive more than $5 million for Delaware’s taxpayers now, while avoiding the burdens and uncertainty of a lengthy trial involving complex geotechnical engineering issues next spring,” said Secretary Shailen Bhatt. “This was a challenging case with strengths and weaknesses on all sides. I believe the settlement provides a reasonable resolution to this matter, and I look forward to applying the proceeds to help meet Delaware’s transportation needs.”

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