Contractor, Agency Face $10M Lawsuit in Oregon for Construction Work

April 7, 2022

TriMet is facing a $10 million lawsuit from the city of Portland, Oregon, for alleged deeply flawed work on a streetcar track, leaving it with major structural defects that could cost the city millions in repairs.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported the suit says the transit agency failed to properly manage the construction of the city-owned platform near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

The transit agency’s California-based contractor, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc., a firm hired by TriMet to make fixes to the Southeast Portland platform, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suit alleges the company failed to “perform the work in a professional and workmanlike manner” and supervise subcontractors, leading to cracks in part of the platform and other foundational flaws.

The Portland City Council unanimously gave the city the greenlight to sue TriMet in March. According to that resolution, a city-hired engineer found multiple problems that cropped up after the construction firm finished the job in 2015, including cracked walls and empty space undermining the structure that needed to be filled. Repairs, court documents say, could cost the city more than $10 million.

City attorneys say leaders at the transportation agency failed to oversee the construction firm and ensure the work was up to their standards.

For over two decades, the city has maintained a streetcar system that runs through downtown. In 2013, the city and TriMet embarked on the “Eastside Close the Loop Project,” an effort to create a full streetcar loop around the central city with a connection over the Tilikum Crossing Bridge.

Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. did not respond to Oregon Public Broadcasting’s request for comment. A TriMet spokesperson declined to comment citing pending litigation.

Topics Lawsuits Contractors Oregon Construction

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