FDOT, P3 nix deadline for I-4 $100M overrun, delay claims
- According to documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, the Florida DOT, public-private partnership team I-4 Mobility Partners (a joint venture between Skanska Infrastructure Development and John Laing) and general contractor SGL Constructors have agreed to suspend the 120-day deadline for the resolution of claims of a 245-day delay and $100 million cost overrun on the $2.3 billion Interstate 4 toll lane project in Central Florida.
- The Oct 3. memo gives the parties an indefinite amount of time to reach an agreement on the claims, which revolve around two drilled shaft failures during construction of a bridge foundation. Paperwork related to the claim was included with the memo and indicates that the P3 team places the blame for extra costs and delays on state officials. SGL, a joint venture between Skanska, Granite Construction and Lane Construction Corp., reportedly maintains that it was "prohibited from using alternative foundation methods, such as driven piles, which would not have resulted in the same problem."
- I-4 Mobility Partners filed its claim in early June, but the FDOT did not acknowledge it publicly until Moody’s Investors Service referenced it in a credit opinion later that month. In its report, Moody’s affirmed the Baa1, moderate-risk rating on I-4 Mobility Partners' $1.4 million of construction loans for the project but changed its outlook from "stable" to "negative” because of the time and cost claims.
Another factor influencing Moody’s opinion was flooding that required some I-4 lanes to be closed, an occurrence that supposedly caused the state to increase its oversight of the project. The flooding and lane closures increased I-4 Mobility Partners’ number of noncompliance points, but the P3 team is disputing those with the FDOT. On a positive note, Moody’s said that because of the experience levels of all the private companies involved in the P3, the team might be able to shave as many as 100 days off of the revised schedule. The credit reporting agency also said that it could upgrade its outlook, pending the state and I-4 Mobility Partners’ resolution.
Skanska announced in October and then confirmed earlier this month that it would cease bidding on U.S.-based “mega design-build” P3 projects in which it holds an equity stake, although there was no mention of I-4 or any other project as a factor in that decision. Skanska officials have made it clear, however, that this will not affect its full pursuit of other U.S. projects, including those featuring design-build and alternative-delivery methods, transportation or otherwise.
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