Winnipeg airport authority sues contractor over terminal building issues

Issues with Winnipeg's airport terminal building and connected roadway are at the centre of a lawsuit filed by the local airport authority against the project's general contractor.

Winnipeg Airports Authority seeks $6.1M in damages against EllisDon Corp.

The terminal building at James A. Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg officially opened in October 2011. (CBC)

Issues with Winnipeg's airport terminal building and connected roadway are at the centre of a lawsuit filed by the local airport authority against the project's general contractor.

In a statement of claim filed with the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench last month, the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) is seeking $6.1 million in general damages against EllisDon Corp.

EllisDon was the general contractor on the airport's new terminal building, an elevated roadway to the departures level, and a utilities building and tunnel. The terminal officially opened in October 2011.

Among other things, the airport authority accuses EllisDon of "deficiencies and defects" in the elevated roadway, including cracks and chips in concrete segments, discoloured, stained and rusted parts, "numerous holes and indentations" and exposed tie wires, rebar, nails and wood.

The authority claims that EllisDon was notified of deficiencies in the roadway, but it has "failed, refused or omitted to correct those deficiencies." The WAA says it has incurred or will incur costs to repair and maintain the roadway.

The WAA is seeking just under $4.4 million from EllisDon related to issues with the roadway, according to the statement of claim.

Breach of contract alleged

The airport authority also claims that EllisDon did not provide designer certification for construction of a glass wall in the terminal building known as a "curtain wall system."

As well, the authority accuses the contractor of not performing numerous tasks, valued at a total of $341,405, that it says were within the scope of the contract, such as installing a dry sprinkler system and dealing with "deficiencies arising from EllisDon's work on the roof of the parkade structure."

"EllisDon's failure to carry out the unperformed work constitutes a breach by EllisDon of the contract, as a result of which WAA has incurred and will incur costs to complete the unperformed work," the statement of claim reads in part.

Also at issue are problems with wastewater drainage piping that was installed below a structural slab under the terminal building. The WAA says it has spent $2.3 million on a solution to those problems.

According to the statement of claim, EllisDon has claimed damages against the airport authority "alleging that the underslab piping damage arose as a result of errors in the design services or in the inspection of the work associated with the underslab piping."

The WAA is claiming a "contingent loss" against Stantec Architecture Ltd., which provided consulting and design engineering services for the project, in the event that EllisDon's claims are established.

The allegations contained in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.


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