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Governors Island Sues Turner Construction For Poor Work on Seawall, Bridges

By Irene Plagianos | February 20, 2017 5:53pm
 The Trust for Governors Island is suing Turner Construction.
The Trust for Governors Island is suing Turner Construction.
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The Trust For Governors Island

GOVERNORS ISLAND — A leading city construction company and a firm it subcontracted are being sued by The Trust for Governors Island for more than $5 million over claims of shoddy work on seawall rehabilitation and bridges that connect visitors with docking ferries.

Turner Construction is responsible for choosing a subcontractor that made numerous errors in its designs to overhaul the island's seawall and build new lift bridges, according to claims in the lawsuit filed on Feb. 15 in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Since 2009, Governors Island has had a contract with Turner — a prolific city construction company that was recently awarded a $1.55 billion Empire State Development contract with developer LendLease to refurbish the Javitz Center — to choose subcontractors and supervise work for numerous development projects on the island, the suit says.

In the same lawsuit, Governors Island accuses subcontracted firm Ocean and Coastal Consultants Engineering (OCC), hired by Turner, of "professional malpractice" for its design errors on several bridges that connect its ferries to docks at the Battery Maritime Building and at Governors Island, along with a plan to rehabilitate the island's seawall — a barrier against floods and storm surges.

According to the suit, the island says it was forced to fix hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of work because of the faulty bridges, including incorrect ferry measurements that created gaps between the ferry and the bridge.

Other mistakes included the incorrect design of connectors from the bridge to the boat dock that caused bolts "to shear off", and choosing the wrong material for bumpers meant to absorb the shock of ferries docking, which then had to be replaced, the suit says.

Governors Island also claims that OCC's plan to redo the seawall was so flawed that "no marine contractor would be able to rehabilitate the seawall as specified by OCC," and the island lost thousands of dollars to implement a different design.

Turner Construction and Ocean and Coastal Consultants Engineering, owned by COWI North America, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Governors Island is asking for at least $2.4 million from each of the companies, along with reimbursement of lawyers' fees.

Governors Island declined to comment on the suit.