Construction company files $42M lawsuit against Horry County, SCDOT over Hwy. 31 extension
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The company that constructed the Highway 31 extension is suing Horry County and the South Carolina Department of Transportation.
Flatiron Constructors filed the lawsuit earlier this month claiming that the SCDOT hindered the company’s work on the project, which caused the company to not meet its deadline and be fined for missing key dates in the contract.
Flatiron entered into a construction contract with Horry County and the state in December 2013 to construct four miles of the Highway 31 extension from S.C. 544 to Highway 707, which included a main bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, six minor bridges and other road work.
In February 2014, the SCDOT issued a “Notice to Proceed” which allowed Flatiron to begin on the construction project, and per the contract, the company had 1,220 calendar days to complete the project, according to the lawsuit.
Flatiron’s website shows that the project was expected to be completed by October 2016. But the project was not done until November 2019.
Flatiron claims that the SCDOT hindered Flatiron’s ability to complete the project. The lawsuit lists out several actions and/or inactions by the state agency, which include instituting unreasonable inspection protocols, requiring Flatiron to perform additional work beyond the scope of the construction contract without appropriate change orders, and unreasonably delaying the review and approval of the critical Girder Erection Plans.
The lawsuit adds that the SCDOT also delayed the project but “did not establish a new completion date and continued to assess liquidated damages against Flatiron.”
It’s also stated in the lawsuit that the state refused to grant Flatiron’s requests for extensions or issue payment for extra work done.
The lawsuit accuses Horry County and the SCDOT of breach of contract, breach of implied warranty, tortious interference with contract and professional negligence.
“As a direct result of the State’s breaches, Flatiron has incurred direct costs, time related costs and other related damages in excess of $42 million,” the lawsuit states.
Flatiron is seeking judgement and damages in excess of $42 million from Horry County and the SCDOT.
WMBF News has reached out to Horry County and the SCDOT for comment on the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for the SCDOT said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
WMBF News is waiting to hear back from Horry County.
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