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The city of Ottawa’s light rail system, the Confederation Line, continues to take on heat … and lawsuits.
Last week, Councillors wrote a letter to Ontario’s Ombudsman demanding an investigation on the light rail system. Now some of the lawsuits against the management and construction behind the light rail endeavor and the city of Ottawa are starting to surface.
Hardrock was hired to shoot 50 to 100 cubic meters of concrete daily into the tunnel system of the Confederation Line. The job was supposed to last about seven months. After the start date was pushed back a few months, Hardrock started to encounter more and more problems. Most of the time Hardrock, which was being paid by the cubic meter, only applied a fraction of the daily shotcrete. There also were times Hardrock mobilized to treat an area in the tunnel and tunnel construction crews were not ready for the work. Work sites were not suited for construction, either. Hardrock claims it often had to clear trash on the site or was forced to deal with muddy conditions.
One situation almost turned deadly. Hardrock was working on a lift when a piece of reinforced steel buckled, trapping the workers. Hardrock claimed it notified the builders about the structural integrity, but according to Hardrock nothing was done.
Hardrock filed a lawsuit against Rideau Transit Group, OLRT Constructors and the city of Ottawa. Hardrock is asking for $10.8 million for the work done on the Confederation Line project. Hardrock also received a $3 million fine for delays, even though it faced numerous obstacles out of the company’s control. Three additional lawsuits have been filed.
OLRT denies any wrongdoing, and says payments to subcontractors have been made. OLRT also says several subcontractors failed to perform the work in accordance with the terms of the subcontracts, resulting in the supply of substandard materials and services, delays and failure to complete the work under the subcontracts.
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