City paying to fix collapsed road downtown

Officials say city will sue contractor to get $750,000 back

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For more than two years, city officials have been dealing with a collapsed road downtown that they thought the contractor was going to pay for.

Now News4Jax has learned the city is footing the bill and will have to sue to get about $750,000 back for fixing the large hole on Liberty Street near Coastline Drive.

A crane was working on the garage and it was too heavy and caused the road to give. Since then nothing has happened. In fact, the hole has only gotten larger.

When the accident first happened in April 2012, News4Jax was told the contractor was working to fix it. But after delays and input from insurance agents and the city, work basically stopped.

Now the city is stepping in to fix it and pay nearly $750,000 because the road is vital for development there and for special events.

"We have a problem there that needs to be fixed, so we decided we would create a parallel path," said Jim Robinson, of the Department of Public Works. "We are still trying to get the private company to fix it, but to put pressure on them we decided to start the process as we would like to fix it."

The city plans to sue to get the money back. In the past cases like with the courthouse and other botched projects, that hasn't worked.

"There is no way to predict exactly how that will come out, but I will tell you the facts are clearly in our favor," Robinson said.

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