Thursday, March 6, 2003

Stadium bill may drop by $1.5M



By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Hamilton County commissioners could slice $1.5 million off the $451 million cost of Paul Brown Stadium by settling their differences with the construction manager over crumbling concrete.

County staff recommended Wednesday that commissioners pay management company Turner Barton Malow D.A.G. $2 million of the $3.5 million the company has billed. Turner executives have signed off on the settlement - the result of negotiations to avoid a county lawsuit.

The county blamed Turner when concrete on the stadium plaza began to crumble in 2001, a little more than a year after it was built. A consultant hired by the county said the concrete should have held up if built to specifications. Water on the surface during finishing was pegged as most likely cause of the "surface scaling'' of the concrete.

Turner, however, blamed the damage on maintenance crews who used deicing salts and chemicals on the concrete.

Commissioners delayed action Wednesday on the proposed settlement, opting instead to talk more about it - and other stadium issues - at their staff meeting Monday.

Commissioner Todd Portune said he wants to know what has become of a letter Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller sent stadium architect NBBJ Architecture last fall seeking reimbursement of $45 million. Construction was rushed to complete the stadium by an August 2000 deadline, and the final bills came in at $51 million over budget.

"We're pretty intent on pursuing that full course, including commencing a lawsuit if it doesn't work out," Portune said.

E-mail candrews@enquirer.com




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