INDOT settles with MLK bridge builder, others

2013-01-04T16:30:00Z 2013-01-04T21:36:04Z INDOT settles with MLK bridge builder, othersKeith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com
January 04, 2013 4:30 pm  • 

The Indiana Department of Transportation has settled its lawsuit over the failure of the Martin Luther King Drive Bridge, which crosses the Borman Expressway in Gary.

The bridge's builder, designer and primary materials supplier have agreed to pay INDOT $450,000 each for a total settlement of $1.35 million, according to INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield.

The Martin Luther King Drive Bridge was closed in May 2010 after large cracks were discovered in its concrete beams. The bridge had been open less than six years.

In July 2011, INDOT sued the bridge's builder, Superior Construction of Gary, for $3 million alleging the company was responsible for the bridge's failure. Superior alleged the bridge's designer, RQAW Inc. of Indianapolis, and the company that supplied Superior with construction materials was to blame.

INDOT's bridge contract was with Superior Construction, which in turn hired RQAW and the supplier, Wingfield said.

In July 2010, INDOT Commissioner Michael Cline suspended both Superior Construction and RQAW from INDOT projects. The companies submitted required quality assurances to INDOT early the next year and were again allowed to compete for projects.

The settlement this week reaffirms Superior’s, RAQW's and the supplier's longstanding relationship with INDOT, according to INDOT.

In August 2011, INDOT awarded a $3.18 million contract for demolishing the superstructure of the condemned Martin Luther King Drive Bridge and constructing a replacement to Dunnet Bay Construction, of Glendale Heights, Ill.

The bridge re-opened in October.

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