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Colorado Springs, GE Johnson prepare to settle Pikes Peak Summit Complex lawsuit

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A months-long legal battle about the Pikes Peak Summit Complex project is coming to an end.

Last week, the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved a settlement with GE Johnson, the construction company that built the $60 million building on top of America’s Mountain.

The total amount of the settlement won’t be disclosed until it is finalized in court, but the council approved an expenditure of at least $100,000. The city declined an interview with 13 Investigates.

In a statement, GE Johnson told 13 Investigates:

“GE Johnson and the City of Colorado Springs recently reached a mutually-agreeable resolution of disputes that arose on the Pikes Peak Summit Complex project and anticipate finalizing that agreement in the near future.”

GE Johnson

In March, GE Johnson filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the City of Colorado Springs. It claimed the city refused to pay them for work that was properly performed under contract because of delays that were encountered.

The completion date for the project was scheduled for Oct. 30, 2020. However, GE Johnson claimed delays outside of their responsibility or control prevented them from achieving that goal. The project wasn’t finished until June 23, 2021.

GE Johnson said they started work on Aug. 3, 2018, but immediately hit delays, including permit mishaps, poor weather, and COVID-19 precautions.

Once construction started, the company said it ran into several problems. Blasting the frozen rock proved to be difficult because once it was exposed to the sun, the permafrost would melt and fill the construction site with water.

The complaint said the blasting work took 79 days to complete when it was only supposed to take 20 days.

GE Johnson claims the City of Colorado Springs is required to adjust its total price due to the delays according to its contract.

“Delays in the Project, not the responsibility of [GE Johnson] documented in accordance with the requirements of this Contract, there will be an equitable adjustment to compensate [GE Johnson] for [GE Johnson’s] increased expenses,” the contract states in GE Johnson's complaint.

The city then filed a countersuit, stating GE Johnson broke the contract by completing “defective work.”

“GEJ’s claims against the City lack substantial justification, are frivolous and groundless, and the City is entitled to an award of its reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending against GEJ’s claims,” the countersuit states.

Not only does the city deny GE Johnson’s claims, but it also said the contractor was the one that broke the agreement.

Part of the contract included GE Johnson constructing the west parking lot at the Pikes Peak Summit Complex. Since the installation, the city said the parking lot has “severe undulations,” rising and falling. The cost to fix the parking lot is expected to be more than $449,000, which GE Johnson refused to repair.

GE Johnson also installed a wastewater management system, which the city said doesn’t function — a violation of the contract.

“Such work will be of good quality, free from improper workmanship and defective material in conformance with the Construction Documents,” the contract states. “With respect to the same Work, the CM/GC further agrees to correct all Work defective in material and workmanship for a period of two years from the warranties contained in the Specifications.”

The city filed a warranty notice request to GE Johnson to fix the wastewater system. GE Johnson never responded, and the city expects it will have to repair it at a substantial cost, according to the countersuit.

The details of the settlement haven’t been finalized. A review hearing for the case is scheduled in June.

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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