Johnson Street Bridge at centre of three lawsuits involving City of Victoria

Johnson Street Bridge at centre of three lawsuits involving City of Victoria

Contractors are suing each other and the City for unexpected costs and issues

The Johnson Street Bridge is at the centre of a legal entanglement consisting of three lawsuits between the City of Victoria and several contractors.

While the number may sound forboding, project director Jonathan Huggett said that some suits are simply placeholders for potential claims.

“We have to distinguish a lawsuit that’s filed, versus a lawsuit that’s served,” he explained. “There’s a two- year statute of limitation from the date from which you had a claim to the time you’re allowed to file the claim. You’ll often find companies will file a potential claim simply to preserve their rights.”

ALSO READ: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps calls for audit on Johnson Street Bridge project

A suit between design consultant WSP Canada Group and the City is an example of one suit filed.

In the claim, WSP is asking the city for $297,000 for work in regards to fendering on the north side of the bridge.

“WSP and fendering is an ongoing discussion,” Huggett said. “They’re doing ongoing work for us at no cost on the fendering…. The relationships with WSP is good and we’re trying to solve it. I doubt that it will ever end up in court.”

The city is also facing a suit from the bridge’s general contractor, PCL Westcoast Ltd. for failure to provide design changes to PCL in “a timely manner” and for unreasonable design changes.

“PCL is suing the city, because PCL only had a contract with the City,” Hugget said, adding that Victoria had nothing to do with designing the bridge. “If PCL thinks that [design sub-contractor] Hardesty & Hannover, or WSP did something wrong, the only way to go after them is to go after the City.”

ALSO READ: A chronology of the new Johnson Street Bridge project

In that same suit, WSP and Hardesty & Hannover LLC are listed as defendants.

A third suit is between PCL and the company they sub-contracted to oversee steel fabrication in China, Atema Inc.

In a served B.C. Supreme Court civil claim, Atema is suing PCL and the City for hundreds of thousands of dollars, saying PCL owes Atema nearly $172,000 in unpaid invoices, recovery fees and interest, while the City owes them nearly $91,000 for funds held back in liens.

In a counter-claim PCL claims Atema acted “negligently” and breached their contract when they “failed to perform” their services with the expected standards or with good industry practice, for which PCL “suffered loss and damage.”

In a response, Atema denies any negligence or breach of contract.

Huggett wasn’t phased by the multiple suits, saying he’s worked in construction for over 40 years.

“When you get a contract like this and reach the end, you’re gonna throw mud at everyone and see what sticks,” he said.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Johnson Street bridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Damen Fast Ferry 3209. BC Ferries are considering buying five of the vessels. (Courtesy of Damen)
CRD transportation committee wants study on West Shore to Victoria ferry

Passenger ferry could reduce traffic congestion, boost transit ridership in Greater Victoria

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 15 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

Bev Lewis, manager of the Sooke Family Resource Society Community Thrift Store, says valuable time and resources are wasted disposing of items the store does not accept. (Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror)
COVID shrinks thrift store resources

Unwanted items a growing problem

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
B.C. red dresses symbolizing missing, murdered Indigenous women vandalized a 2nd time

Nelson’s REDress Project was vandalized along with an outdoor installation on Vancouver Island

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Most Read