|Article Last Updated: 8/24/2005 07:03 AM|
|Bridgeport fire house delays nearly resolved|
|AARON LEO email@example.com|
|BRIDGEPORT — The city hopes to finish building the troubled Boston Avenue firehouse before cold weather arrives.|
Construction was halted about two months ago when the general contractor walked off the job, leaving a building framework with a host of structural defects. The firehouse was to have been completed May 15. Work has not resumed on the structure, located on Boston Avenue along the Old Mill Green, as the city awaits the hiring of a new contractor. About six months of work remain.
Russell Liskov, an associate city attorney handling the project, attributed the delay to the search for a new general contractor. He added that the city hopes to rehire the 35 original subcontractors on the job.
"We're in the process of getting everyone back on the job within the contractual" time limits, Liskov said.
The original construction firm — White and Carr of New York — is defunct, and its officials have all resigned, according to Liskov.
The attorney said he is working with the surety firm holding the $2 million bond on the project, which was forfeited by White and Carr, to hire a new general contractor.
The job does not have to be rebid and the surety company will pick the new contractor, said David Cote, director of the construction services for the city's Public Facilities Department.
The bond should cover finishing the fire station, according to city officials, although Cote did not immediately have a time or cost estimate, citing negotiations with the surety company. But the surety company will have to cover any extra expenses.
Negotiations with the company are proceeding, Cote said.
"They're usually straight-forward, but they are time-consuming," he said. Cote recalled that it took six to eight months to resolve a similar bonding situation involving the company hired to repair City Hall's roof several years ago.
"Whenever you run into snags like this, it's unfortunate. But, in the real world, these things happen," Liskov said.
The fire station is part of a $7.2-million neighborhood project that also includes a community center, library, playground and ball fields.
Aaron Leo, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6222.