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Legal issues outstanding with Uxbridge project

While the construction of the Brock Street Culvert Replacement Project has wrapped up, there are outstanding legal issues associated with the project, said the Township of Uxbridge.

These issues are not uncommon with projects of this scope and scale, the township said while releasing financial statements and project details.

During the project, disputes arose between the general contractor Brennan Paving & Construction Inc. (a subsidiary of the Miller Group), the engineer and project administrator Aecom Canada , and the Township of Uxbridge. Brennan Paving & Construction has sued the Township and Aecom for a combined claim for $8 million. Most of this amount is a placeholder for the potential claims of third parties against Brennan Paving & Construction and is being handled by insurance. The township will be asserting a claim in a similar amount against Brennan Paving & Construction and Aecom, said a statement.

Other outstanding issues include allegations of damage to buildings adjacent to construction. A process is underway to determine whether damage occurred as a result of the culvert replacement or related actions of the contractor, and the nature of any such damage. If a party legally caused damage, the responsible party may need to fix the damage or pay compensation. The township’s position is that any such damage is the responsibility of Aecom or Brennan Paving & Construction and persons working for them. The township’s insurers are handling these matters. The township has encouraged all property owners to obtain lawyers to ensure they have full knowledge of their rights and the parties’ lawyers are dealing with these issues. As a result, the township can’t comment in detail until the matters are resolved, said the statement.

All businesses in the construction area were notified prior to construction about how to make a claim for lost business during construction and the township will process all claims once submitted.

Chief Administrative Officer Kristi Honey said “We are frustrated with both Brennan Paving and Aecom. The township retained both firms based on their professional experience and commitment to deliver the culvert project within a specific budget. Cost overruns should have been avoided through project management basics. We expected them to deliver on budget and to have an engineering and construction plan that accomplished the job for the contracted price. They clearly didn’t meet our expectations despite escalating our concerns over insufficient project and risk reporting. Unfortunately, we can’t provide many details as the matters are before the courts.”

The township will update the public as matters evolve and when information can be shared. “While the ongoing dispute is frustrating, it is important to recognize that the project has successfully removed a significant flooding risk in the downtown and has replaced critical infrastructure which was failing,” says Mayor Dave Barton. “The township had a legal obligation to undertake the project. Now that the infrastructure work is complete, the township can focus on redeveloping our historic downtown knowing it will be safe and preserved for generations to come.”

Mayor Barton added, “Thank-you to our residents and local businesses for their understanding during construction. This was the largest project the Township has undertaken, and it was extremely disruptive. We appreciate the support for local businesses and the patience of the public throughout this inconvenient project.”

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