- The Webcor/Obayashi joint venture, the general contractor that built the $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco, on Oct. 16 filed a $150 million lawsuit against the owner, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, in San Francisco Superior Court alleging breach of contract, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
- In its complaint, Webcor/Obayashi accused the authority of not being able to make the "critical decisions required to keep the project on time and on budget," making it necessary for the joint venture and subcontractors to issue more than 12,000 requests for information, many related to errors and omissions in the transit center's design. Webcor/Obayashi maintains that the authority did not give it extra time to complete its work after schedule delays caused by the authority, did not increase the joint venture's contract amount after its accelerated the pace of work at the authority's request, did not issue the appropriate change orders, misused contingency funds and is liable for pass-through claims from subcontractors.
- The authority responded to the complaint with the following public 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. While we are still reviewing the details of the complaint, at first glance, many of the accusations that deal with delays to the project pre-date Webcor’s repeated commitments to deliver the transit center on time."
What is not mentioned in the lawsuit is the discovery of the two cracked steel beams that necessitated the temporary closing of the transit center in late September. Commuter traffic through the new transportation hub has been re-routed back to the old transit center until the cause of the fissures is determined and the authority can confirm that there is no potential safety issue.
The authority claims that Webcor/Obayashi is responsible for costs associated with the cracked beam repair, as the transit center is still under warranty. What's not certain is who will pay for other costs associated with the transit center closure, like the extra personnel required to handle street closures.
Last week crews completed shoring up the area where the two beams were found, and testing of the beams is now underway. The authority said it should have an answer regarding the cause of the cracked beams at the beginning of November. The authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will then determine how to approach a permanent repair.