Garner Cleveland Record

Builder files suit over Garner police station

The discovery of an underground utility cable caused delays during renovation work in 2014-15 for the Garner Police Department. Those delays are at the center of a lawsuit the contractor filed Dec. 13, 2016, against the town and architect.
The discovery of an underground utility cable caused delays during renovation work in 2014-15 for the Garner Police Department. Those delays are at the center of a lawsuit the contractor filed Dec. 13, 2016, against the town and architect. NEWS & OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

The contractor that renovated the Garner Police Department is trying to recoup money the town withheld in penalties after the work took longer than scheduled.

In a complaint filed Dec. 13 in Wake County Superior Court, Calvin Davenport Inc. is seeking to recover at least $69,000 from the town and ADW Architects. The contractor says the town is obligated to pay that money under the contract Garner signed.

In a response filed Feb. 16, Garner town attorney Bill Anderson argued that the court should dismiss CDI’s complaint.

On Wednesday, Anderson said the lawsuit revolves around $57,000 in liquidated damages the town withheld, at $500 per day, after the work ran 114 days past deadline. But the dispute began underground, with an AT&T cable, the town attorney said.

Shortly after work on the project began in August 2014, the contractor encountered an unexpected utility cable near the current entrance to the police station. In the complaint, CDI says it notified the architect the cable would cause a delay in construction, since it wouldn’t have access to complete certain jobs until the cable was removed.

The contractor says it offered to relocate the cable, but the town and architect said no and instead relied on AT&T to move its cable. That led to a delay of 213 days – to March 2015 – before CDI could fully access the site.

CDI says it requested “a change order for additional time and monetary compensation for the delays caused by the obstructing underground cable.” But the town and architect denied the request.

While the work was intended to be finished by June 2015, it was mid-December before it was partially done.

“CDI is saying the presence of the line is not their fault,” said Anderson, Garner’s attorney. “We’re saying the presence of the line is not what delayed completion of the project.”

Anderson acknowledged a delay getting AT&T to move the cable, but he said there was no indication CDI was facing any setbacks since the contractor proceeded with interior renovations.

Anderson also said the architect did grant an extension in March 2015, providing a timeline calling for completion in August.

“From that point on, things just slowed down,” Anderson said. “The project was not finished the end of August, the end of September, the end of October, and police just kept getting delayed. Finally, the interior was completed ... but the parking lot wasn’t complete.”

The exterior work lasted until July 2016.

Anderson said ADW Architects had a few more days to file its response to the complaint.

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