Bankruptcy Filing by Contractor Delays Work on Jacksonville Bridge
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Bankruptcy Filing by Contractor Delays Work on Jacksonville Bridge

November 16, 2012


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Construction on a new bridge in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, recently came to a halt after its contractor, Intercoastal Contracting Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a report from the Jacksonville Daily News.

And while the news may come as a surprise to motorists, sources say the company filed for bankruptcy in late August, so city officials have known for a while that a pause in construction might become necessary.

Sources say Intercoastal has "temporarily" stopped working on the Buddy Phillips Bridge while it works out the details of its bankruptcy restructuring plan, and that it plans to continue working on other projects during the process.

The city still plans to keep Intercoastal as its contractor for the important bridge project, but one city official told sources that it has a backup contractor ready in case it needs to switch builders.

City officials say they are not yet panicking over the temporary absence of the contractor because the bridge project is 20 percent ahead of schedule, and transportation officials believe the project can still be completed by its target date, July 22, 2013, sources say.

The contractor was awarded the project in 2010 when it submitted a winning bid of $11.8 million for the bridge’s construction, which will help improve access to downtown Jacksonville across the New River.

This summer, however, Intercoastal lost a $2.6 million lawsuit to a homeowners association that claimed the contractor built a faulty bulkhead in its development that led to shoreline damage along the coast.

The lawsuit lasted for two years and proved very costly for the contractor. Sources say the large settlement, coupled with the high costs of prolonged litigation, forced the company to file for bankruptcy in late August.

The bridge project was a very necessary task for the state’s transportation officials because its predecessor, a 67-year-old bridge, was identified as one of the most dangerous bridges in Florida by a public watchdog.

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