FL subcontractor files suit against Balfour Beatty, others on Brightline rail project
- A subcontractor on a Miami parking garage associated with All Aboard Florida's Brightline rail system has filed a lawsuit worth at least $3 million against construction manager Balfour Beatty, the former general contractor Facchina Construction, surety bond provider Travelers Insurance and All Aboard Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
- Contractor Estate Shell alleges that a Balfour Beatty superintendent created a hostile jobsite environment, that Travelers would not take a meeting and did not settle the dispute, and that Balfour Beatty designated resolved construction issues as existing problems, intentionally trying to delay the project. Balfour Beatty told the Sentinel that the company tries to treat all of its partners on the project fairly.
- All Aboard has postponed the opening of the South Florida segment to the end of this year and will not complete the connection to Orlando until 2020.
In 2011, Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2 billion from the Obama administration for a high-speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa. The segment, according to The New York Times, which would have provided an 85-mile, 170 mph connection between the two Central Florida cities, was said to be a significant part of the $53 billion nationwide Obama initiative because it would have made for a stark contrast between the logjams that happen along Interstate 4. In addition, the government already owned much of the right of way, meaning that it could be built quickly.
Still, rail projects like All Aboard have popped up in Florida, mostly in the state's Southeast region.
Miami Beach officials voted in July 2016 to start development of a $380 million light-rail streetcar system with French transportation company Alstom. The streetcar system would have connected Miami Beach with downtown Miami by a future rail link, but questions arose about Alstom's proprietary technology and if it could be integrated with any other system.
In December 2016, according to the Miami Herald, Miami Beach commissioners voted to put the project on hold until Miami-Dade County committed to a fully financed rail link across Biscayne Bay.
Farther north, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has said it might also include future additional lanes in its design for a new bridge between Tampa and St. Petersburg that could accommodate a light rail system.
- Orlando Sentinel All Aboard construction lawsuit focuses on delays
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